A Lesson in Bitcoin ATMs

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Beautiful: How to Streamline the Experience

Again, I’m not here to complain; I’m here to offer a solution.

I’ll address two main points of contention here.

Yes, a pair of tweaks to the service can leave customers walking away with an ‘I’ve got a secret’ air about them as opposed to wallowing in frustration.

Aside from the need to closely monitor ATM balances, here’s what I’d like from any machine serving cryptocurrencies:

1) Let’s Iron Out the Personal Details in Advance

If an ATM is banking on walk-up traffic, those customers still need an app to interact with the machine.

Unless you’ve planned ahead or already have a crypto app with QR codes on your phone, you’ll have to download software before making a trade.

We’re not in spur-of-the-moment, impulse-buy territory here. I wasn’t out getting coffee and happened to see crypto available. Instead, I went out to get crypto and an optional coffee.

The QR code should know who you are before a transaction takes place. Integrating with a digital ID service provider such as Civic or Ontology can accelerate ATM operation times.

Civic’s digital IDs can follow you all over the blockchain

Before I even walk into a location housing a bitcoin ATM, I’d prefer to choose my coin and the amount of cash I plan to trade.

Mobile wallets require a mechanism that triggers simple interaction with a CoinFlip machine.

By identifying patrons and making arrangements ahead of time, the entire checkout process can distill down to only a few steps:

  • Hold phone’s QR code to machine
  • Insert cash
  • Walk away with a heavier bag of coins or tokens

I always feel like a target at fiat ATMs, and a bitcoin ATM is no exception. I want to spend as little time as possible interacting with money-exchanging hardware.

Ever get stuck behind the person at the ATM that has to cash a check and withdraw from three separate accounts? Please, CoinFlip, don’t make me be that person by spending so long in front of your machinery.

I want to use my phone to perform anything and everything that facilitates a faster checkout process.

2) Be Upfront About Pricing

Had I known to expect such high fees, I may have skipped the trip altogether. However, a thirst for product knowledge, as well as a little curiosity, probably would’ve been enough to prompt a mission.

Not everyone likes surprises, especially when it comes to money. Bait and switch tactics fail to attract repeat customers.

Look, we know there’s a premium for buying and selling. If I walk into a local coin shop intent on buying ounces of silver, I’m fully aware that I’ll pay more than the current spot price.

The difference is I know the exact percentage I can expect to pay. Businesses selling their services at reasonable market rates needn’t worry about hiding their true pricing structures.

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