AN ENTERPRISING shop owner from Swanage has become the only one in Dorset to accept Bitcoins as a way of payment.

Andy James, owner of Swanage News, first heard about the newest way for people to pay for items through a TV programme and decided to bring what is largely an online entity to the store, based on Station Road.

He said that they have received a phenomenal response from customers, residents and visits from outside of Dorset, since introducing the option of paying with Bitcoins around a month ago.

“There’s an app that you can get for iPads, which allows you to type in how much an item is, before it turns that information into a barcode called a QR code,” said Andy.

“The customer then uses their iPhone to scan the QR code to charge them for their shopping and deducts the Bitcoins from their account.”

Andy said that he is always looking for the latest way to improve things in the shop and make it appeal to the younger generations, with the age range of customers choosing to purchase using Bitcoins being between 20 and 50.

“People are coming into the shop to ask how to get Bitcoins and say that they want to buy something in here just to try it out. There are quite a few online businesses that offer them as a way of purchasing things, but I only know of two pubs in London and a shop in Exeter where you can use Bitcoins in person.”

Andy said that many of the shops in Swanage don’t offer card payments because of the cost per transaction to the owner, but with the app he uses, every transaction is free for him.

“I think in the long run, the idea of offering Bitcoins as payment could take a while for people to consider, but then it will take off quite quickly,” he added.