The Transact conference is a yearly trade show that brings together the latest in payments and technology. Payments giants including American Express, PayPal, Visa, Bank of America, Chase, and many others gather at this yearly event to learn about new technologies and form partnerships. In its very essence, this is a traditional payments conference. And now Bitcoin gets to be part of the conversation.
BitPay, a member of the Electronic Transactions Association, is going to be a big part of the March 31-April 2 event, which is billed as “the place to come to get business done.” Bitcoin API company Gem will also be a sponsor of the event.
Tony Gallippi, the co-founder of BitPay is one of the primary speakers on an 11:30 a.m. panel titled, “Digital Currency – Changing the Payments Ecosystem.” Others on the panel are Adam White from Coinbase, Sean Neville, and the panel is moderated by David Bailey from BTC Media. (Full disclosure: BTC Media is the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.)
“This is the first major traditional payments conference where we are seeing a lot of involvement from Bitcoin companies,” said Emily Vaughn, marketing manager at BitPay. “Having a presence and presenting thought leadership at events like Transact 15 is critical for the growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem.”
The growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem is going to happen whether traditional payment processing companies want it or not. According to BitPay, there’s much excitement about the possibilities of bitcoin.
“Businesses working in the traditional payments industry are usually excited about getting involved with Bitcoin once all of their skepticism has been addressed,” Julia Patterson, communications manager at BitPay, said. “No large payments company is going to adopt Bitcoin on a whim, nor should they.”
BitPay recently partnered with Heartland Payments Systems, one of the largest payment processors in the United States. Heartland has more than 300,000 businesses and educational locations that rely on their technology. Through this partnership, Heartland will be able to recommend which of their merchants would be best suited to use bitcoin.
However, not all merchants have found success with bitcoin. WordPress, a recent client of BitPay’s, decided that it was not worth the support costs to keep accepting bitcoin. They were seeing only a few transactions using bitcoin as the payment method.
“WordPress is currently updating their checkout process, and we expect to see bitcoin capability added back in,” Patterson said. “After talking to WordPress, we think the lapse in bitcoin payments has little to do with bitcoin or our service.
With some serious heavy hitters such as Square, Stripe, TD Bank, and others attending Transact 15, this could be a good way for more companies to learn about the potential of bitcoin and potentially integrate it into their workflow.
“The Bitcoin technology stands on its own two legs,” Patterson said. “It’s our job to be the best ambassadors for the technology as possible.”
Transact 15 is starts on March 31stand goes until April 2nd. It’s being held at the Monscone Center in San Francisco.