intuitIntuit has launched a new service called PayByCoin, that enables companies using Quickbooks Online to accept payments in virtual currency Bitcoin.

When a business generates an invoice for a customer, it generally offers payment options such as credit and debit cards. With the addition of PayByCoin, businesses have an option to accept payments in Bitcoin. However, they need to link their QuickBooks Online account to the Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase, which PayByCoin uses for processing the transactions.

It is being offered as a free add-on as of now and the company will charge 1% for paying out in US Dollars. The company also says that it will make local payouts a day after the transaction has been completed.

Intuit has been testing out the feature since May this year with a few merchants.

Issues with Bitcoin

Businesses accepting Bitcoin payments generally have to deal with volatility associated with Bitcoin valuation. However, when it was seeking beta testers for the Bitcoin service, Intuit had stated that companies can list a Dollar price and not worry about Bitcoin valuation.

It is worth noting that at that point, Intuit had also stated that the service works even without a Bitcoin wallet, which doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

For merchants in India that are using Quickbooks Online service, Bitcoin might not be a high priority, since very few people actively use the virtual currency here. Even if it decides to accept payments from customers using Bitcoin, there is the legal ambiguity.

While US has decided to treat Bitcoin as a commodity and tax it accordingly, RBI has been silent on it despite a legal notice requesting clarity. The Income tax department had previously indicated that it was okay with the usage of the virtual currency as long as the businesses paid requisite taxes and duties on them.

Do note that New York is working on a legislation that would require businesses in the city accepting virtual currencies to get a license, which pretty much destroys the open nature of the currency. It needs to be seen how such city and state centric regulations will affect services like PayByCoin.