Underpayments Control Panel3 min read

October 5, 2020 2 min read


Underpayments Control Panel3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Underpayments (also known as partial payments) are typically the result of payers (1) initiating payments from exchanges or (2) initiating payments using the USD (or local currency) amount instead of the BTC amount presented in the checkout. Other Bitcoin payment providers have resorted to more restrictive models like BIP 70 to tackle underpayments, but our ethos has always been and will continue to be towards providing an open, reliable, and transparent payment experience. 

In order to do so, we’ve gotten creative with solving the tricky issue of underpayments with on-chain Bitcoin payments without compromising the ability to process Bitcoin payments from any wallet or forcing anyone to use a specific wallet/protocol. 

With the latest update to the OpenNode platform, merchants can reduce the occurrence of underpayments and manage their underpaid transactions with a new Underpayments Control Panel. 

Notable improvements are as follows:

  1. OpenNode merchants can now accept and receive underpayments by setting a tolerance threshold of up to 10% of the payment transaction value, up from a maximum of 5%. Note: thresholds do not apply to transactions that are automatically converted.
  2. OpenNode merchants can now monitor and take action on underpayments from the OpenNode dashboard, including:
  • accept underpayment transaction
  • proactively resolve underpaid transactions directly with the payer by leveraging the OpenNode platform to request fulfillment of payment or provide the payer instructions for initiating refund of underpayment
  1. OpenNode’s checkout UI more clearly prompts Payers to complete payment, ensuring prominence of the missing amount and the time left to complete.
  2. Merchants (and payers, if OpenNode has their email address) will receive enhanced email communications about the status of an underpayment, including:
  • notification that an underpayment has been received
  • notification of possible actions: payer top-up, underpayment refund
  • notification of resolution: confirmation of full payment received or confirmation of underpayment refund initiated
Image of the Underpayments Control panel on the OpenNode platform on desktop and mobile.

Improvements are expected to reduce the amount of underpayments merchants receive and provide a  better experience when partial payments still occur. As the Bitcoin network grows and payer sophistication improves, we expect underpayments to continue to decrease but in the meantime this functionality will help mitigate friction.

At OpenNode, we always recommend our merchants suggest Bitcoin/Lightning mobile wallets like Blue Wallet, Wallet of Satoshi, or Breez Wallet to their customers. Not only does the Lightning Network deliver lower fees and instant transactions, but it also provides a better payment experience for both merchants and payers. Check out our recent article on accepting Bitcoin payments using the Lightning Network on the Help Center page about underpayments to learn more. 

Our goal at OpenNode is to build the best payment infrastructure possible powered by Bitcoin and we can’t do it without the feedback from the community. This update was yet another suggestion from our user base and we’re pleased to be improving our platform through the input of our users.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for new tools or features that you would like to see on the OpenNode platform? Send us a DM on Twitter or send an email to support@opennode.com and we’re all ears!