Making Bitcoin more usable for the everyday consumer is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Not just because it is hard to get Bitcoin into the hands of people in a convenient way, but also because there are not enough “real life” use cases at this time. BitMD is looking to change that, by allowing clinics to accept Bitcoin payments.
BitMD – POS Terminals, Bitcoin Wallet Software, and Teller Machines
The name BitMD is relatively unknown in the world of Bitcoin and digital currency. However, that may not be the case for much longer, as the company has unveiled their ambitious plans to allow for patient payments in Bitcoin at clinics. In order to do so, BitMD will be combining all of their services to bring over-the-counter Bitcoin payments to medical payments.
There are several reasons why a Bitcoin payment for a clinical visit is preferable over traditional options such as credit cards or cash. Whenever you pay a medical bill with a credit card, the clinic’s name will be on your statement every time. And we all know how governments and financial institutions like to keep track of medical expenses, even though this type of behavior can be seen as a violation of user privacy.
On the other hand, credit card payments invoke a large fee per transaction, which has to be paid by the clinic itself to receive the funds. By switching over to Bitcoin payment, that payment fee would be nullified, and it would protect user privacy at the same time. It sounds like a win-win situation for all parties involved.
However, BitMD is starting out on a small scale by aiming their services towards private practices, medical tourists, disease-testing centers and marijuana dispensaries. In particular, this latter category has seen the benefits of Bitcoin payments in recent years, as banks are hesitant to do business with a marijuana-related company. Even if it is for medical reasons, you may have a hard time finding a bank willing to process payments on your behalf.
Spending Own Bitcoin or Buying Them With Credit Card
Patients who will be able to use the BitMD Bitcoin payment option have several options to spend BTC. If they already own Bitcoin, they can conveniently use one of the supported facility’s tablets – or other mobile devices – running the necessary wallet software. Similar to how regular Bitcoin payments work, you can either send funds to address manually or scan the generated QR code.
But if you have no Bitcoin at your disposal, you can either purchase them with cash from one of the Bitcoin Teller Machines or swipe your credit card at a POS terminal. It is no secret that accepting credit card payments, which are reversible and subject to fraud, for Bitcoin, which is irreversible, is quite the risk, so it will be interesting to see how BitMD plans to protect themselves from illegal card use and chargebacks.
Clinics accepting Bitcoin payments through BitMD will receive the funds in fiat currency, deposit into their bank account by Coinify. Plus, every clinic can opt to operate the BTM at their location for additional revenue, even though exact details have not been confirmed at this time.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of BitMD and Shutterstock