December 22, 2016
When your customers pay with Bitcoin, SpicePay makes it as easy as possible. A single click does it all. Compare this with how much information has to be typed in when customers pay with a credit card. Time is money, so it’s always a good policy to make paying for your goods or services as quick and easy as possible.
SpicePay uses the most up-to-date Bitcoin Payment Protocol – the specific process for paying with bitcoin. Specifically BIP70, a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP), used by the Bitcoin core developers to continually improve Bitcoin.
The BIP70 payment protocol states: “This BIP describes a protocol for communication between a merchant and their customer, enabling both a better customer experience and better security against man-in-the-middle attacks on the payment process.” In short, BIP70 is the quickest, easiest and safest way to pay with Bitcoin.
To back up a little, how exactly are bitcoin payments made in the first place?
The system follows a payment protocol. This is a specific sequence of messages between customer and vendor, including an expected set of responses or acknowledgements from both parties. Certain conditions might need to be validated for the process to be completed successfully. The code used to carry out the protocol includes contingencies for any other responses or actions that might happen. For example, if a customer decides to change an order in the midst of checkout, the system will ensure he is easily directed back into the payment process once the change is made.
With SpicePay, here’s how Bitcoin payments happen:
- The customer clicks on a simple “pay now” button or link on an email invoice to pay with Bitcoin.
- This action sends a message to the merchant server.
- The merchant server requests a payment from the customer’s wallet app.
- The wallet asks the customer to authorize the payment, referencing the merchant by name, i.e. “youronlinestore.com.” (Previously the user would see the merchant’s 34-character Bitcoin address. Not only is this address not meaningful to the user, but it can also be replaced by an attacker’s Bitcoin address.) The customer clicks “OK.”
- This response sends a message to the wallet app, which triggers it to send the payment to the merchant through the Bitcoin p2p network.
- The merchant server acknowledges the payment, sending a message to the wallet.
- The wallet sends a message back to the customer, notifying them that their payment has been received.
This is the simplest and fastest Bitcoin payment process out there. It saves the Bitcoin merchant’s customers the trouble (and potential for errors) of having to copy and paste the payment amount and BTC address, as with earlier versions of the protocol. With BIP70, there is proof of payment, as well as a complete record of past invoices and payment history.