A New York City preschool has taken the step of offering parents the opportunity to make tuition payments with bitcoin and ethereum rather than accepting credit cards.
In May, The Montessori Schools in Flatiron and Soho sent out an email to parents informing them of the school’s decision. Tuition at these schools is not cheap. For a toddler, a half day (8:30-11:30) tuition costs $24,800 whereas a full day (8:30-3:00) is charged at $31,900 for a school year. A full day primary child aged between three and six years of age also costs $31,900.
Marco Ciocca, co-founder and chairman of The Montessori Schools in Flatiron and Soho, recently explained why they have decided to forego the traditional credit card payments and are embracing bitcoin and ethereum instead.
“I’d been sorta following the space for a few years – just really noticed that a lot of forward thinking businesses were starting to accept it,” he said to Business Insider.
It is due to the ease of payments, low fees and quick transactions that cryptocurrencies are being accepted at the schools. Not only that, but several parents, many of which who work in the sector, wanted to know if they could pay the tuition fees in bitcoin.
Via a third-party system parents are able to pay the tuition costs where it is wired to the school’s wallet. The coins are then instantly converted to fiat in U.S. dollars before being transferred to the establishment’s bank account.
For Ciocca, though, it is the low transaction fees that digital currencies present that helps make it an attractive option.
“There’s about a one percent transaction fee, which is less than, you know, two, three, four percent sometimes with credit cards,” he said.
Not only that, but it reduces the possibility of cards being declined, which only incurs further fees and headache for the payee.
According to Ciocca, not everyone was aware of what bitcoin was when the email was sent out. He adds, though, that it was easy to explain what it was and that it’s ‘just another form of payment.’
Aside from accepting bitcoin and ethereum, the school also takes cash, cheque and wire payments.
With the crypto market increasing in value, the idea of using the currency for day-to-day purchases is increasing. It’s not just school fees that are being paid with digital currencies, so too are homes. In September, it was reported that two business icons had launched a £250 million bitcoin property venture in Dubai. In a first for the industry, it is possible for property to be bought directly from a developer with bitcoin.