Cryptocurrency, or ‘crypto,’ as many refer to it, is climbing its way into the modern day—transforming what is seemingly futuristic into conventional reality. The world of Bitcoin, along with other digital currencies, such as Ethereum and Dogecoin, is facilitated and expanded by society’s contactless trends. But what does it mean for door and window companies? Are companies on the retail side considering accepting this as a viable currency?

From Apple Pay to Venmo, to PayPal and Google Pay, there are several digital methods for payment being used throughout the industry. EntryPoint Doors and Windows in Buford, Ga., adopted Podium before the arrival of COVID-19. The system provides contactless text-to-pay options built for social distancing. Owner Paul Butler says the platform allows his company to collect payment for entry door replacement, window replacement and decorative door glass—all without even talking to the customer.

Window Concepts of Minnesota Inc. in Saint Paul, Minn., doesn’t accept cash, but that doesn’t mean its customers don’t rely on other old-fashioned methods, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 30% of the company’s customers, “still prefer to hand in a check,” says president Greg Ramel. “They’ll give that to the crew upon installation, so they’re physically not coming in here.”

COVID-19’s arrival in 2020 altered customer interactions swiftly, but officials for Mountain View Window and Door in Denver, Colo., say they were prepared for contactless methods of payment. “We saw cash used a lot less, even before COVID-19,” says marketing director Scott Hicken. “We’ve had a digital portal where people can pay online for many years. That shift to digital payment methods came prior to the pandemic. I would say it’s continued to be about the same as it was before COVID-19 because we already had such a high amount of people paying digitally,” he adds.

Others see a continuation of traditional methods for payment, even amid the pandemic. Accepted payment options for Mountain View Window and Door include credits cards, checks and cash. Many of its business transactions are digitized, but Hicken doesn’t see cash usage dropping to zero.

“There’s an in-person element,” Hicken says. “When clients come pick up the windows and doors, for example. Sometimes we’re delivering to the job site where we do an install project. But sometimes they’re coming to pick them up from our warehouse … Our client base is the contractor more than anything—more than homeowners. I think there’s always going to be that old school contractor that wants to pay in cash, at least for the next five to 10 years.”

Digital currency isn’t in the cards for some companies, including Ramel and Window Concepts of Minnesota Inc. “We’re not accepting it,” Ramel says. “There’s too many variables there. We haven’t even had a customer that’s asked if we’ve accepted it.” Jeff Weaver, president of Clarkston Window and Door in Pontiac, Mich., is personally invested in a small amount of cryptocurrency, but his business doesn’t currently accept it. When it comes to future industry usage, Weaver says, “I don’t have a stance on it at all.” At the same time, “If I see [customers] requesting it, I would probably implement it,” he adds.

Ryan Houchen falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. As the sales team leader at Southwest Exteriors in San Antonio, Houchen says and has yet to invest in digital currencies. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t open to relying on them for business. “If the climate dictated it, and it became a widely-used method of currency, then we’d have to,” he says.

Hicken, who has been tinkering with cryptocurrency since 2020, says, “I think it’s at the stage where a lot of people are finding out about it and experimenting with it.” With investments in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, he views industry implementation as a future development.

“I don’t know if it’s high on the priority list of companies like us to be able to implement that,” Hicken says. “I think the implementation of crypto is going to start in other industries that [include] simple purchases—maybe retail. As far as something as big as the window and door packages for the high-end custom jobs we do, I think it will be a while before crypto is a payment method that construction really would use.”

Crypto isn’t currently on the table for Ramel’s company either, but, “I could see it eventually becoming a viable thing,” he says. “Things are going to change. Maybe at some point, there is no cash anymore.”

Read more on this topic in [DWM]’s March/April issue.

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