The online travel booking leader Expedia announced that it started accepting Bitcoins for booking hotels on its website. For those who are new to Bitcoin, it is a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank – its more like internet of currency. At the moment Expedia is accepting Bitcoin payments only for hotel bookings and in the future it may allow flights and vacation packages bookings.
When Expedia customers wants to pay for a hotel using Bitcoin then they are transferred to Coinbase, a third party bit coin processor, for accepting the payments and then they are redirected back to Expedia.com to complete booking.
This simple process would definitely drive mainstream adoption of Bitcoin – a win-win situation for digital currency users as well as for the travel company as they save a lot on card processing fees. Online retailers pay around 3% of transaction amount as fees for credit card processing companies like Visa & Master when they accept cards, but Coinbase charges a fee of just 1 percent for processing Bitcoins.
Irrespective of customers adoption to Bitcoin based payments on Expedia as well as the savings on transaction fees, this move would give bragging rights to Expedia being the first e-commerce giant to accept digital currency!
Image credit: Jonathan Caves