Online travel agency CheapAir.com has announced it is no longer working with Coinbase to process its customers’ bitcoin payments. In Coinbase's stead, the company has turned to BTCPayServer, an open-source bitcoin payment processor.
CheapAir had been partnered with Coinbase since early 2013, but this April, the digital currency exchange explained that it was shutting down its merchant platform, leaving CheapAir in the dark and struggling to find a steady replacement.
The company wrote in a blog post that its affiliation with BTCPayServer largely stems from customer feedback that came during a time of great need. “We were in unfamiliar territory to suddenly be scrambling for an alternative,” writes CEO Jeff Klee. “I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the overwhelming amount of thoughtful feedback we received. We went into the process thinking we were on a desperate quest to find a new processor, but thanks to many of you, we came out of it realizing we don’t need a processor at all.”
The post goes on to say that the company has been working with BTCPayServer for about the past month following several customers’ suggestions. Klee states he’s thrilled with what BTCPay can do, and that he finds it “liberating” to not have to rely on third parties anymore, as CheapAir.com now has more control over the transaction process, leading to faster and more efficient payments.
“We can also do a much better job of gracefully handling the occasional anomalies that are still inherent in crypto commerce,” the post claims.
CheapAir.com isn’t the only airline company accepting cryptocurrency. Star Jets International does, as well, which began accepting virtual money payments late last year. CheapAir states that despite the problems it’s had with Coinbase, it will continue to accept digital currency payments as they are likely the future of finance.
“We do think that most industries will have to come along and start expanding acceptable payments beyond fiat currencies,” explains Klee in a recent interview. “It’s not surprising that smaller, more nimble companies like ours can sometimes get out in front of legacy companies — the complicated infrastructure challenges make it tough to make this kind of leap early.”
Klee also hinted that while the company hasn’t made a firm decision just yet, they would be open to Lightning Network payments if customers showed interest.
“We certainly wouldn’t rule it out [Lightning Network] in the future, especially if our customers tell us it’s something they would like to see us accept,” he mentions.
At the time of writing, representatives of CheapAir had not responded to Bitcoin Magazine’s request for comment.