The online drug store and medical platform United Pharmacies has officially introduced Bitcoin as its newest payment method, offering 10% discount for all drugs and products listed on its store.
United Pharmacies is one of the few firms in the pharmaceutical industry to offer Bitcoin as one of its main forms of payment because of the strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations imposed on companies in the industry.
Integration of Bitcoin
Customers of the United Pharmacies platform and members of the Bitcoin community presume that United Pharmacies’ integration of Bitcoin will establish a positive precedent for other companies in the pharmaceutical industry to offer payment methods with minimal regulation and legal processes.
Typically, companies such as United Pharmacies offer a limited range of payment methods to comply with the financial regulations they are required to respect. Thus, most pharmaceutical companies and independent drug stores offer traditional means of payments such as international wire transfer and international cashier's check.
Merit of Digital Currencies
Digital currencies like Bitcoin provide two major advantages over conventional payment methods: low transaction fees and efficiency. Payment options often recommended by online drug stores - specifically bank wiring - require users to take certain steps which often result in the customers either going to the physical branch or settling the transaction over the phone. Once the transaction is completed, bank details and transaction information have to be sent to the company, which then requires additional verification and authentication which could take anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
United Pharmacies explains:
“Setting up an International Wire Transfer can sometimes be done using your internet banking account. However many banks only provide this service over the telephone or in person at a bank branch.”
Bitcoin eliminates any additional processes and fees for both the customer and the company. It removes the fees usually dealt to the customer and enables the company to process the shipment faster, ultimately optimizing each operation handled by the firm.