While Bitcoin sceptics claim that Bitcoin is only used for speculation and has no actual uses, a New York preschool has shown that Bitcoin can be a convenient and successful method of payment.
Enquiry from parents
In an interview given by Marco Ciocca, the Chairman of The Montessori Schools in Flatiron and SoHo, to Business Insider, he explained that he had a few parents enquiring about the use of Bitcoin as a means to pay the tuition fees.
We had probably a handful of parents who mentioned, Hey do you accept Bitcoin? I've got this Bitcoin. Can we pay tuition in Bitcoin?
Since Marco had been following the Bitcoin space for the past few years and was aware of the advantages of using Bitcoin, including ease of payment, low fees and quick and speed of the transactions. Together with other members of the administration, Ciocca decided to add Bitcoin as a payment option.
Credit card fees can be a killer
The school does not hold Bitcoins and uses a payment processor to receive fiat in their bank accounts. Hence they are not exposed to Bitcoin's price volatility. While the exchange does charge them a 1% fee to process transactions, this pales in comparison to the fees charged by credit card companies.
Moreover, credit cards can get declined, which leads to additional fees. Therefore, the school does not accept credit card payments. Apart from Bitcoin, the school accepts cash, cheques and electronic wires.
Yeah, there's about a 1% transaction fee, which is less than, you know, 2, 3, 4% sometimes with credit cards. A lot of them get declined and then you have more fees and then you have to re-charge them and that's been kind of, sort of a headache for schools.
Not a gimmick
Many companies have made news recently by adding Bitcoin as a payment option, but have found few customers willing to pay with the digital currency. In this case, there are a handful of parents who have paid tuition fees using Bitcoins. Since there are parents who have a career in the Blockchain space, they were open to the idea of making payments using Bitcoins.
From the school's point of view, they were just offering an additional and convenient payment option to the parents. Bitcoin is not the exclusive preserve of futuristic businesses; even brick and mortar schools can adopt it