Toronto-based startup Wagepoint is saying that it is the world’s first payroll software that allows employees to be paid in bitcoin. The startup launched its bitcoin integration earlier this week.
The integration is being made possible through a partnership with Virtex. The Vancouver-based Bitcoin ATM‘s provided by Bitcoiniacs use VirtEx as well.
“Bitcoin is gaining traction as a mainstream currency, and as more merchants sign up to accept bitcoin, it is inevitable that this virtual currency will find its way into compensation,” said CEO Shrad Rao. “We built an option in our payroll software for employees to convert a portion of their net pay into bitcoin. It’s an idea founded on our progressive views to help address the changing needs of the digitally savvy workforce.”
Wagepoint is an HR tech company with an online payroll web app for small and medium sized businesses in Canada. Wagepoint’s product, “Pay”, is an easy-to-use payroll solution that can handle direct deposits, government remittances and year-end T4’s for both salaried and hourly employees.
The company claims that it’s always looking to innovate its offerings so they can continue to give customers and their employees the very best in online payroll. Currently companies and employees can use the startup to directly deposit payroll into bank accounts with established financial institutions. But now for the first time, Canadian companies can give their employees a brand new alternative in bitcoin payment.
The company’s US beta launch is expected for January. While its Canadian launch is expected to be slow at first, “Wagepoint anticipates much larger demand in the US,” once it becomes available in that market.
Wagepoint Pay was launched in June 2013 and to date over $40 million has been processed in annual payrolls with over 2,500 payrolls run in the system.
Wagepoint will not charge users for the bitcoin feature since it functions similar to a direct deposit within the app. Businesses can sign up to Wagepoint’s Pro plan for a simple pricing of ($20 base fee + $2 per employee) per payroll. That includes direct deposits, government remittances and year-end T4’s.
Once an employee elects to get a portion of their net pay in bitcoin, they can login to the employee self-serve and indicate the amount they want to convert via the Bank Info tab in the app. When the bitcoin wallet is verified, Wagepoint Pay will automatically exchange the said amount for bitcoin through the VirtEx exchange at the current market rate – as specified by the VirtEx orderbook. To process this transaction, VirtEx will charge employees an exclusive 1 percent exchange fee. Once the exchange is completed, the bitcoins are directly deposited into the employee’s bitcoin wallet.