If we published a poll asking you to rank the things which make a great consumer experience for a service, the most popular answers are likely to be similar. A safe and stress-free way to buy or use the service would rank highly. Availability is key. Price would be too.
As Bitcoin grows of interest to the general public, these factors need to be taken into consideration by industry innovators to help people trust and adopt it. A number of Bitcoin companies hold the water - a promising consumer Bitcoin service. But few have thought enough about how to get the herd to drink it.
Making bitcoin a currency for everyone
Bitcoin by its very nature is a currency for the digital world, though the whole world can benefit from it. Currently it is easy to access amongst digital-natives, who, for the most part, see little issue going on the web and purchasing their bitcoin via an online exchange, paying a friend via their mobile bitcoin app.
But think for a moment about broader communities such as baby boomers - the over 65 community who are expressing interest in purchasing bitcoin to protect their savings from the uncertainties of the economy. How can the bitcoin industry offer a transparent service they trust, when, for a large majority of them, the use of digital services like online exchanges or a Bitcoin ATM does not come naturally? Additionally, how can Bitcoin companies balance the needs of both a beginner and more experienced consumers.
FastBitcoins. The Uber of Bitcoin
The team at FastBitcoins have thought hard about the issue of consumer experience since inception in Feb 2019. The first service we launched was a point-of-sale terminal that allows people even with little experience with Bitcoin to buy it with cash in their local shop. All the customer needs to do is request the amount of bitcoin they want from a merchant and hand over the requested amount of cash (you can buy as little as £10 of bitcoin). In return, the merchant operating the terminal hands over a physical bitcoin voucher which the customer can redeem into their Bitcoin wallet when it suits them. It is just like buying and redeeming a mobile phone top-up voucher.
There are few more familiar consumer experiences than walking into your local shop, chatting with the shopkeeper, and buying something from them in cash. That’s why his service is perfect for anybody wanting to buy bitcoin. It allows you to get access to the digital currency but in a physical and familiar manner.
As well as being pleasant for the consumers, FastBitcoins point-of-sale terminals also offer multiple, sustainable advantages to merchant operators too. In fact, our merchant partners can earn generous commissions and differentiate their offering without even having knowledge of bitcoin, or being exposed to any of the underlying price risks of the bitcoin market. And unlike Bitcoin ATMs, FastBitcoins terminals are compact, easy-to-use and do not take up valuable store space.
Today, anyone with a car can become an Uber driver, and anyone with a spare room can become an AirBnB. This is because simple technology has allowed them to make this possible. In the same light, with FastBitcoins anyone with a shop can become safe and trustworthy bitcoin exchange.
Taking care of the bitcoin herd
Additionally, we introduced online features that allow customers to buy bitcoin easily, safely and in a way that suits them. These services, which include Autobuy and direct deposits are definitely more suitable for the more digital natives.
That being said, they are intended for use by everyone. Whether you use FastBitcoins online or in-person, our ethos is very clear: we want to make trusted and easy-to-use services that allow the planet to reach a billion Bitcoiners. An ambition this big requires careful consideration of how our services will work for different people.