Recently, the online bitcoin buying service “Cash Into Coins” rebranded as Expresscoin. They are underscoring their goal of making bitcoin buying quick and easy. As part of the rebrand, they have launched additional payment options to make it even easier. These include SPS Money Orders, personal checks and wire transfers.
One of the other niches they are looking to fill is a high level of customer service, something which is usually compromised in the online world of bitcoin buying. Customers willing to pay a 3% premium can have peace of mind that any support inquiries are handled quickly. They also offer an Android-based mobile app.
When reviewing Bittylicious, who also aims to make bitcoin buying quick & easy, their quoted rate roughly came out to a 5% premium. This however accounts for the availability of credit card payments, which incur a fee to the merchant, as well as exchange spreads between different fiat currencies.
Expresscoin’s rebrand caught our eyes, especially since they report close to 20,000 “active paying customers” and to have transacted $15 million in their first year. We spoke to Joe Hsieh, co-founder and CMO of Expresscoin to learn more about what they bring to the market:
Is there any new service being launched, or is this just a rebranding?
This is the same service as Cash Into Coins, except we now have more methods of payment and we’re adding in more alt coins into the service.
You currently have both Bitcoin and Dogecoin. What is the rationale for this choice? Why not Litecoin?
We are planning to expand to more alt coins shortly. We embraced dogecoin because of the community to test traction with alt coins. Now that that has done well, we want to expand to other digital currencies.
Do you offer customer support by phone?
We have not yet offered phone-based customer service, but it’s something we intend to look into. At the moment, all of our support staff are based in the U.S. and we’re handling them live during business hours. It’s not uncommon for members of our team to answer support around the clock.
There’s a testimonial that “I REALLY appreciate your direct communication in all this. You’re blowing Coinbase away!” How are you better than Coinbase?
We think we’re a superior method to Coinbase based on three things: 1) Speed of delivery, 2) Customer Service 3) support for alt coins 4) bring your own wallet.
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1. We have several methods of payment, and more coming soon. Our policy is to get coins as fast as the payment clears, and when it does we send coins the same day. In some cases, if you fund by wire transfer, we can get you coins the same day!
2. Our goal is to get back to user as soon as they request it. We have invested in a large US-based customer service with goals of responding to users within 15 minutes during normal business ours.
3. We are agnostic to whichever digital currency the customer wants. We plan on supporting more alt coins in the future, we think freedom to buy any alt coin is important to democratize their access.
4. Finally, we allow users to use whichever wallet they prefer. Since it’s their wallet, not ours, we don’t have access to their private keys. If we choose to have a wallet in the future, it will be one where a user doesn’t rely on us to get access to their digital currency.
You charge a minimum 3% per transaction? Is this competitive with Coinbase and others?
At the moment, we charge 3% to our customers and we use the competitive pricing of all major exchanges. We’re looking into lowering this fee in the future, but the transaction fee allows us to afford the customer service team behind our service.
How much of a markup is charged above the going rate?
We use the competitive price with a depth and volume analysis. Bitstamp is the closest to our pricing since they have one of the most significant volumes.
Is credit card going to be one of the accepted methods of payment?
We don’t support credit/debit cards today, but we hope to have these options in the future.
Which types of fiat are accepted?
Although people can wire us money from any country, currently, all our transactions are denominated and accepted in USD.
Which coins will be added next?
We’ll be making an announcement soon on the next set of alt coins. The press will be notified when that happens!