BitPay has announced the start of a referral partnership with the U.S.-based payment processor Heartland. Heartland will recommend bitcoin as a payment option for businesses and refer them to BitPay's platform.

BitPay has reportedly over 50,000 partner companies and regards teaming up with Heartland, which provides services for more than 300,000 businesses, as a move towards promoting bitcoin payments to a larger number of merchants.

Heartland is the fifth largest payment processor in the United States, which works with businesses and educational institutions. According to their website, they turned to bitcoin in response to their customers' demand:

“Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly asking us to offer them more secure, lower-cost payment processing methods. Heartland has listened and responded.”

Heartland identify SMBs as target businesses that will be offered to partner with BitPay to increase customer conversions and purchases. The adoption of bitcoin will help SMBs to become more competitive on the market by providing more secure and convenient types of payment