By Danny Brewster, Managing Director of FastBitcoins

The high-street was once a place of opportunity for budding businesses to earn a good living. But growing business costs and tax pressures have over time made it difficult for shops to succeed. Combining these challenges with the biggest of all – the rise of online shopping – and the future looks bleaker by the day for brick-and-mortar shops.

Despite this, the high-street fights for survival, reborn as a place for customers to get ‘personal and physical experiences’ that shopping online does not provide. In-store digital and contactless payments have also become mainstream, allowing businesses to capture and convert more of today’s fickle and fast customers. Unfortunately though, the domination of online shopping is inevitable. And in light of this high-street businesses must look at newer and bolder opportunities to thrive.

The Bitcoin standard

Many businesses will have heard of Bitcoin, and will generally understand its potential as a form of investment. What retailers will be less aware of is just how much they can benefit from Bitcoin particularly as it continues to mature.

Today, a number of solutions exist that allows businesses to unlock the widespread benefits of Bitcoin which can allow them to generate revenues, increase footfall and expand their product range, as Bitcoin adoption grows. There are two common technology solutions available to businesses today, namely Bitcoin ATM’s and the hand-held POS device, such as the ones my business supplies. We believe the latter is more superior.

Why the Bitcoin-enabled POS will succeed?

There are numerous differences between a Bitcoin ATM and POS device, some more noticeable than others. To help you understand them, and why we believe the POS stands out from the pack, we have broken both down by feature below:

-   Size: Bitcoin ATMs require floor space. For the majority of high-street businesses space comes at a premium. Committing it to a new technology is hard to justify. POS devices, on the other hand, are wireless, rechargeable mobile devices which requires minimal counter space and run alongside existing card payment solutions.

-   Functionality: Bitcoin ATMs allow customers to buy Bitcoin themselves from within a shop. On the other hand, POS devices are operated by the merchant, allowing more personal contact with the customer to build rapport. The majority of Bitcoin ATMs facilitate only Bitcoin purchases, whereas POS devices, such as ours, can enable merchants to accept real-time Bitcoin payments, optionally payout cash to people that have sold bitcoins to us, as well as generate revenue by selling gift vouchers from over 5000 well-known brands.

-   Connectivity: Some Bitcoin ATMs require a separate internet connection to operate, a cost which the ATM provider may absorb or may not pass down. POS devices connect via existing Wi-Fi networks, and software updates are made over-the-air too.

-   Commercials: Like a standard cash ATM, a Bitcoin ATM needs to be stocked with cash, or the typical cash with Bitcoin ATMs, emptied of cash. This process is expensive and severely impacts the ability for businesses to price their services competitively. On the other hand, businesses using our service can earn double the commission percentages of our biggest ATM competitor, with zero risk.

- Security: Like traditional ATM’s, Bitcoin ATMs can be targeted by thieves hoping to obtain the cash held inside them. Our POS device eliminates this issue as built-in security measures render the device unusable if stolen.

As you can see there are a number of differences between Bitcoin ATMs and POS devices. Ultimately, our advice for selecting a Bitcoin service is to pick one that is easy-to-use, offers great service, and provides the best functionality to help you succeed – both now and in the long-term.