At the virtual Bitcoin Cash meetup we hosted on April 29th, GoCrypto (Eligma Ltd.) CEO Dejan Roljic shared some tips for onboarding merchants. The tips he shared were interesting and I’d like to share them in this article.
GoCrypto(gocrypto.com) is a global payment service for both physical and online merchants. They are around 40 staff and based in Slovenia. They currently enable payments in BTC, BCH, ETH, and their own token GoC with fiat settlement. They have onboarded more than 1300 merchants in 13 countries and have been ever expanding. I had a chance to meet the GoCrypto team before in Tokyo, and I was impressed with their passion, knowledge, and razor-sharp focus on merchant adoption.
We first asked how they generally onboarded merchants. We often hear how individuals onboard merchants, but I was interested to hear how companies like GoCrypto did this. Half way through the meetup, I was surprised to find out that the tips he shared with us were very similar to what we as individuals have been doing.
Dejan explained that GoCrypto first started onboarding smaller merchants. They started with places such as a tattoo shop, bars and restaurants that they were going to often. Then they started building more merchants around these early use cases.
Be a Good Customer
I noticed that GoCrypto was doing something that I strongly believe is important, which is to be good customers for the merchants by using their service showing them the potential support they will get more once they start accepting crypto. GoCrypto team proactively had meetings at some of the restaurants with 10-15 people, and occasionally had meetups.
Be Transparent and Honest
Dejan emphasized that being fully transparent and honest to the merchants is essential. I agree with this too. The reality is that we are still at an early stage of adoption and we do not have many users and it is not like the merchants suddenly will get a lot of customers after deciding to accept crypto. GoCrypto makes this point clear to the merchants, but they would pitch other benefits. For example, they offer additional exposure on social media, explain to them that crypto is a borderless money, which means loyal users from all over the world will notice and support if the merchants start accepting.
This is how they onboarded Burger King, according to Dejan:
One guy from his enthusiastic sales team was a regular customer at BK and he told the clerk that he will keep buying things as long as they will accept crypto. He was also being a good customer, and bought a lot of items at Burger King. The CEO of the Burger King chain happens to be there and he got interested in what this crypto-enthusiastic GoCrypto employee had to say, and the CEO decided to hear him out. Then he decided to start accepting crypto for his Burger King chain in Slovenia! What a fun and encouraging story.
I think it is usually harder for us individuals or small groups to onboard big merchants like chains of popular fast-food restaurants or supermarkets because it is usually rare for you to be able to meet the people who have the decision-making powers such as owners, CEOs or the managers, and also because of the large corporate size, it will be much harder for decisions like starting accepting new currency to go through.
This case of meeting the CEO of Burger King I do think is rare and fortunate, but that is actually just one of the steps and I do believe the enthusiasm of GoCrypto staff made this whole thing happen. To share my own experience too, I have helped onboard a medium size chain with 14 shops across Japan, and we were fortunate to be able to meet the owner because of Roger Ver’s connection, but we also worked hard to follow up to make sure they will actually start accepting crypto (though they were cooperative), so I know that being able to meet the owner was not everything.
Anyway, next time you run across a CEO of Starbucks chain in your country, maybe it may not be such a bad idea to take courage and ask them to accept crypto;)
Other Ways to Onboard Big Businesses
GoCrypto also onboarded some big chains of supermarket which have more than 30 locations, without meeting the CEO first. This is how they made this happen for one chain: They first noticed that some of their users were sending emails to this particular supermarket chain, recommending GoCrypto service and saying they should start accepting crypto. GoCrypto quickly noticed what was happening, and they started asking more people to do the same. After many people sent emails to the chain, the marketing team of this supermarket asked GoCrypto to come and explain about their service. They decided to accept crypto after a successful pitch by GoCrypto! I think this is something we can all learn from and it’s what all of us can do.
I hope you found these tips helpful and fun. I think in this early crypto adoption stage, onboarding any size merchants are important to lead our way to bigger adoption. Like GoCrypto and probably many other successful ‘BCH Cities’, adoption usually starts small. So go talk to that restaurant you often go to, or the cafe that your friend owns. And let’s also have hope and keep asking bigger companies to accept crypto! Someday maybe they will.