Lots of Bitcoin-related services are really making a stand to directly compete with the current financial ecosystem. BitWage, a service we briefly talked about in this article, lets you receive (part of) your monthly wage in Bitcoin, without your employer knowing about it. But now there is also Bitwala, which lets you pay any bills you may have directly with Bitcoin.
Bitwala – Pay Your Bills With Bitcoin
One of the main reasons why most of us still need a bank account is to pay for most monthly bills we receive. In my case, these bills include my mortgage, ISP bills, utility bills for water/gas/electricity et cetera. There are a handful of things I can pay with Bitcoin directly, such as topping up my mobile provider credit, but those are always microtransactions.
Bitwala aims to change the bill-paying landscape as we know it, and morph it into what could be the holy grail for Bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide. The idea behind Bitwala is relatively simple to explain, as their service will execute fiat bank transfers in your name, after you pay the designated amount in Bitcoin to a Bitwala address. Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
In order to pay your bill with Bitcoin through Bitwala, there are three simple steps to follow :
Provide the amount owed and the recipient’s name and bank account details
Pay the Bitcoin equivalent of the bill plus a small fee (3% as of this writing)
After receiving your bitcoin transfer, Bitwala will execute the SEPA bank transfer within one working day.
The best part about this service is that you can use Bitwala to pay for any type of bill, such as your monthly credit card bill, utility bills, tuition fees, insurance fees and even freelance work. Life will become a lot easier when you can stop using PC banking all together and just move towards using Bitcoin to pay for literally everything.
Note from the author : Bitwala is using the Bitcoin exchange rate value of Spectrocoin.
Bitwala Verification Procedure
Bitwala complies with EU laws, and the company has to verify their customer’s identity before transferring money on the client’s behalf. In order to send up to 200 EUR monthly, users will need to verify their email address and provide basic information such as your personal name and address. This is considered “Level 1 verification”.
There are two more verification levels,which each require additional identity verification in order to raise your monthly spending limits. To become “Level 2 verified”, users will need to submit a utility bill and scan of their passport. In return, they will be able to send up to 1,000 EUR per month in SEPA transfers after paying in Bitcoin. “Level 3 verification” is not yet implemented at this stage, but it will let users (or companies) send up to 10,000 EUR per month in SEPA transfers.
A Major Competitor For Traditional Banking
Bitwala is positioning themselves to become a major competitor for traditional banks, considering you don’t even need a bank account yourself in order to use the service. Users will be able to pay one-time bills and recurring bills alike, which can all be set up from your “Dashboard” once you have created and verified your account.
Considering the fact that Bitwala guarantees to process your SEPA transfer within one business day after receiving the Bitcoin payment, the service is even faster than most traditional banks. Granted, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as sending out a transfer to a bank account belonging to the same bank as your account. These transfer usually happen instantly, or they do here in Belgium at least.
Security is a very important factor when it comes to financial details, and Bitcoin is no exception to that rule either. Bitwala treats customer details with the utmost respects, and guarantees to never disclose your details with anyone except the Bitwala team themselves. We will see if they can keep this promise as more and people start to use their platform.
The main benefit is the fact that users won’t have to use an exchange to convert their Bitcoin into fiat money in order to pay your bill with a bank account. Simply send your funds to the Bitwala address provided, and they will take care of the rest. Do keep in mind there is a 3% fee on every transaction (minimum 5EUR fee), but that is still relatively low compared to the service being offered.
One major difference between these online services and traditional banks is the way they handle customer support. For instance, I can only contact my bank through a contact form, and they take up to 7 business days to reply to my inquiry. Bitwala has a dedicated support staff reachable by phone or email to answer any questions you might have.
Note from the author : Registered users can also open up a live chat with Bitwala customer support , which is accessible through the Dashboard menu.
Only Available in Europe For Now
BitWala is only available to European customers at this point in time, as they pay execute payments with SEPA transfers only. This has mostly to do with the (lack of) Bitcoin regulations in Europe, compared to the United States or Asia. At this time, we have not received a confirmation on whether or not Bitwala will expand their services to these continents in the future.
Website : https://bitwa.la/