International mail-forwarding company Shipito adds bitcoin payment option

Home » International mail-forwarding company Shipito adds bitcoin payment option
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International shipping logistics is a tricky game to master. While many in the U.S. take the ease and relatively low costs of ordering online for granted, customers in more far-flung countries don’t have it so lucky. In the best case, they pay a hefty premium for having their order shipped internationally, and in many cases there is no international ordering option at all. It’s simply too logistically challenging and low-profit of a service for many companies to bother with providing. Seeing an opportunity, California-based mail-forwarding company Shipito has found a niche, allowing customers to have domestic orders sent to their warehouses, and then reshipping them abroad for a fee. Given that international, cost-conscious focus, it should not be surprising that Shipito has begun accepting payments in bitcoin.

CEO and founder John Vanhara announced the news on Twitter yesterday. The company has partnered with Atlanta-based BitPay for their payment processing. The company has been considering the option for at least a year, in part due to high international transfer fees charged by banks, often adding as much as 4.3% to the final payments.

Shipito’s announcement is welcome news for a growing number of non-U.S. bitcoin users, particularly in Asia and Latin America. With the discount-heavy holiday shopping season rapidly approaching, the move is also well timed. Foreign participation in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales has been increasing in recent years, and the reduced fees and discounts often associated with bitcoin may well cause a visible spike in such buying this year. Given that many people outside the U.S. have growing access to bitcoin through ATMs and mobile devices, but limited access to traditional international payment options, Shipito’s bitcoin acceptance may allow for a completely unbanked user outside the U.S. to have new options, all at a lower cost than a traditional international customer.

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