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Article by JP Buntinx
One of the more interesting use cases for Bitcoin comes in the form of paying everyday bills. Even though this functionality is limited to citizens in the European Union for now, there are a few companies in existence who want to make this process as cheap as possible. Bitwala, one of the companies focusing on this market, recently lowered their fees, and they have introduced QuickPay.
Bitwala – Paying Your Bills With Bitcoin
Bitwala is a service that lets you pay any bill in Bitcoin, assuming you live in the European Union that is. Their platforms makes use of SEPA transfers to settle payments in EUR fiat currency on behalf of their users, and they charge a small fee in return for doing so. It goes without saying that such a service offers quite a few benefits for Bitcoin enthusiasts.
Not only will you no longer have to spend EUR fiat currency to settle your everyday bills, but you can also cut out the middleman, in this case, your bank, altogether. Bitwala uses their bank account to settle payments on your behalf, and most companies only look at whether or not the payment reference matches their system or not. Where that money is coming from, or from which bank account, is of less concern in most cases.
In the early days of Bitwala’s services being offered, the fee per transaction was 3% of the total amount (or a minimum of 5 EUR.) As the platform was only recently launched, the fee was rather high for the service provided, but that may have been a deliberate decision by the owners. A few people could test the platform, providing Bitwala with valuable feedback to improve their system even further. Once everything was running as expected, fees could be lowered one step at a time.
As you would come to expect from such a service, there is a verification procedure in place. Bitwala operates with the European Union only, yet they are obligated to comply with its know-your-customer rules. Once your account with Bitwala is verified, you can send up to 200 EUR per month (without submitting documents) or up to 1,000 EUR per month (after submitting an ID scan and proof of address.)
Lowering Service Fees
In recent months, Bitwala has introduced significant changes to their fee structure. Just last month, the service fee per invoice was lowered from 3% to 2%, and the minimum fee amount was lowered to EUR 2 (down from EUR 5.) To put this into perspective, paying a 500 EUR bill through BitWala would cost you 510 EUR in total.
It has also become apparent that Bitwala has experienced no hiccups regarding their promise of fulfilling invoice payments within one business day from receiving the Bitcoin payment. Most bills are settled the same day, if they are paid before noon. Considering the fact this service has seen a modest increase in number of monthly transactions, things are looking very bright for Bitwala.
But the changes did not stop there, as Bitwala lowered their service fees again last week. The way things stand right now, there is a 0.5% service fee + 1 EUR in place. If we take the same example as before, where we settled a 500 EUR bill with Bitcoin, the total cost would be 503.5 EUR, which is a significant reduction.
When we asked Bitwala about this latest reduction, their spokesperson stated:
“Over the last couple of months, we asked our customer for feedback and the main feedback we got is that we should introduce lower fees.We want to take care for the needs and wishes of our customers.In addition to that we increased the limit for our fully verified user. From now on you can send up to 50 000 Euro to the SEPA zone.”
And there is more, as Bitwala has announced a new service called Quickpay, which will act as “the fastest way to pay bills with Bitcoin.” One of the main advantages offered by Quickpay is the fact it eliminates any logins and passwords associated with paying bills through the Bitwala platform. Plus, this new feature will also reduce data being stored on the Bitwala servers to a bare minimum.
Do keep in mind that Quickpay is only available on orders up to 200 EUR. Anyone can use this feature without login, verification or providing any unnecessary data. All you have to do is fill out all of the details and the recipient’s IBAN number, send the payment in Bitcoin, and the rest will be handled by the Bitwala team.
Have you ever used Bitwala before? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Bitwala Blog
Images courtesy of Bitwala and Shutterstock