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Open-org.com is building an online service, which will have income coming from VISA cards, and will pay expenses in Bitcoins. We expect to make something like 100 transactions per day from credit cards to Bitcoins. I would like to know what the cheapest service would be for doing this fully automatically. What I mean is the cheapest service or combination of services with APIs so we can automate the whole process. I am particularly concerned with complexity (and delays) if we would need to transfer the money from the provider, which enables us to accept VISA payments, to my bank account. Then send the money to MtGox, get it exchanged and then get the Bitcoins sent off. The steps involved just in the last part, Bank Account to Bitcoins, would be quite work intensive if done on a daily basis. It would involve the following steps: 1) Access internet bank and transfer to exchange (5 minutes). 2) Access exchange and transfer and create several buy orders over some period of time to get a good price (5 minutes to 30 minutes). 3) Transfer Bitcoins to 100+ recipients (5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on interface). 4) Make accounting of transfers.

Btw. this is not a "buy bitcoins" service, so I do not believe I will get in the kind of trouble that "buy bitcoins" services got into with regards to fraud. Anyways, that is a different question.

I should mention, that I am not interested in services that take something like 5% for doing these things.

The service should accept international VISA cards.

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    I'm not clear on what you're asking here. Do you want a VISA payment processor? That doesn't seem relevant to this SE. Do you want a processor to convert from VISA to Bitcoin directly, without you holding the money? That doesn't exist at all AFAIK. – BinaryMage Mar 31 '12 at 3:31
  • I am looking for a solution for the whole process. I do not expect one service to convert directly, but I am looking for a chain of solutions, which enable the whole process from VISA to Bitcoins. – David Mar 31 '12 at 21:12
  • So a VISA payment processor (VISA -> Bank Acct) and a Bitcoin exchange (Bank Acct -> BTC)? That's the simplest you could manage. – BinaryMage Apr 1 '12 at 2:06
  • I have updated by question and added the process steps involved in the Bank Acct -> BTC. There are 4 steps. Needless to say, they would take a lot of time when done on a daily basis. If automated, I would even like to do these steps in real time for every VISA payment made to Open-org.com – David Apr 1 '12 at 8:50
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Visa and Mastercard have been pressuring any merchant transaction processors to not support Bitcoin.

However, there is already at least one service that allows you to deposit Bitcoins and withdraw USD through a Visa debit card: OKPAY recently announced their support of Bitcoin, although I don't know how long they will last.

  • Do you have a better reference for your claim about pressure from Visa and Mastercard? – David Mar 30 '12 at 20:07
  • I am not after bitcoin to Visa services, but the other way around – David Mar 30 '12 at 20:08
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    Here's an article that quotes a Paxum rep saying they were pressured by their banking partners to stop dealing with bitcoin-related sites: betabeat.com/2012/02/13/… It does mention though that Mastercard wasn't the main source of the pressure: CORRECTION: This post originally had MasterCard in the headline; Paxum says the real push for the change came from its banking partners, “not really MasterCard.” – Amin Apr 1 '12 at 8:49
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+50

First you should reexamine the assumption that you need to do this daily. If you have a reserve equivalent to the weekly volume, you can move funds around once a week. To protect against volatility risk, you can still use an exchange's API to buy bitcoins daily or more frequently to clear your position.

If you can't do even a weekly manual transfer, you should have a look at OKPAY. They can accept CC payment, and they might allow you to withdraw bitcoins if they can be shielded against chargebacks (if you explain that your service is not at high risk of chargebacks and put a deposit, they may be convinced).

Handling end-provider Bitcoin payments should be separated from this. Once the bitcoins are in your possession use your own daemon and database to send payments automatically.

  • The reason why I want to do this on a daily basis or even ofter is that, the profits earned from Open-org.com belong to the contributors, so since this is their money I want them to have it as soon as possible and to see profits being made on a daily basis. I will look into OKPAY, thanks for the tip! You have a good point that handling end-provider Bitcoin payments is separate. Thanks! – David Apr 1 '12 at 10:09
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    @David: Again, you can pay the contributors on a daily (or immediate) basis from your reserve. It doesn't require the USD to be moved every day. As for seeing profits, if you buy immediately then you will see daily profits in the total of all your assets (including the funds you keep on mtgox), though not necessarily in terms of cash you are holding in the hand. Your business plan should take the reserve into consideration, but a week of reserves really shouldn't be too difficult. – Meni Rosenfeld Apr 1 '12 at 12:23
  • I basically do the same thing with my exchange service. I have bitcoins both locally and on mtgox, USD in mtgox and ILS in my bank account. When a customer buys bitcoins from me (paying ILS to my bank account), I send them from my own wallet and immediately buy the same amount on mtgox to reset my position. When I run out of bitcoins locally I withdraw from mtgox (simple); when I run out of USD on Mtgox I convert ILS->USD if needed and do a wire transfer (a bit harder). – Meni Rosenfeld Apr 1 '12 at 12:30
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    @David I believe you do not really want to fully automate stuff involving money, especially if that solution hasn't been already extensively tested (and if you can't find it easily, it hasn't). – o0'. Apr 1 '12 at 12:52
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    @David: If your bank account has an API, you could do the same but with a process that automatically requests wire transfers (and everything else can be easily automated). But I guess OKPAY is your best bet for a complete solution. – Meni Rosenfeld Apr 1 '12 at 13:00
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From a developers standpoint of view, i like the approach https://stripe.com/ takes.

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    Welcome Manuel! Please try to improve the answer by specifying what that approach is so that readers can get an idea about it without clicking the link. – D.H. - bitcoin.se Apr 5 '12 at 15:17
  • Last time I checked (a month ago), they only accepted US VISA cards. – David Apr 5 '12 at 16:07

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