Going from cryptocurrencies, especially altcoins, to cash can be difficult. So we’ve compared the best solutions on the market for exchanging Bitcoin and altcoins to make your life a little easier.
Over the past week, Bitcoin and altcoin values have dropped dramatically. A month ago, the price of Bitcoin climbed above $3,000 USD for the first time, but on Sunday it dropped as low as $1,863.22 and remains below June’s lowest value at the time of writing. Ethereum, which reached nearly $400 in June, is now trading at half that value. And just about all other cryptocurrencies experienced a similar decline.
A cursory glance at the news coverage reveals a number of possible causes for this drop – which has seen the total cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease from a mid-June high of $115 billion to as little at $61 billion at its lowest point (so far) – but the most likely culprit is the imminence of SegWit, scheduled for August 1st.
In light of the past week (which some are preemptively calling a crash) we’ve decided to take a look at the best solutions available for cryptocurrency exchanges, and which services you can use to send Bitcoin to your Payza e-wallet or to acquire altcoins that you can later sell to Payza.
Since there are so many to choose from – hundreds of different exchanges which might seem indistinguishable to the casual Bitcoin user – we’ve collected the results from 10 different recent Best-Of lists from leading crypto publications, including Bitcoinist, The Merkle and 99 Bitcoins, to create the ultimate Top 5 list:
Unlike most others on this list, Gemini is a fully regulated exchange licensed in the US, meaning that they’re held to a similar set of rules and standards as a bank. Gemini sports a great, minimalist user interface but you can only trade in Bitcoin, Ether and USD and the service is only available in 42 states, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
PROS: Highly secure, user-friendly design, great analytics tools, no deposit or withdrawal fees.
CONS: Limited to USD, BTC and ETH, available in only a handful of locations.
Founded in London, England in 2013, CEX.IO trades in most major cryptocurrencies and support USD, EUR, GBP and RUB fiat currencies. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly but also powerful enough for professional traders, and has a good reputation for security.
PROS: Accepts credit cards, mobile-friendly, worldwide availability.
CONS: Long verification process, high deposit fees, limited customer support.
Making it onto over half of our lists, Bitstamp is the oldest exchange standing, having launched back in 2011. Both EUR and USD are accepted and multiple deposit methods (including credit card) are supported. As the third-largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, Bitstamp is a very reliable option.
PROS: Well-known for reliability, accepts credit cards, fee structure makes it a good choice for large transactions.
CONS: Poor user interface not recommended for beginners, can only trade Bitcoin for fiat currencies.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a customer-centric exchange, meaning it’s an excellent place for people new to cryptocurrency. It’s one of the most popular solutions around because of its low transaction fees and ease-of-use, but Coinbase only supports a limited amount of features, currencies and countries.
PROS: User friendly, low fees, stored currency is insured, a variety of deposit and withdrawal methods supported.
CONS: Limited availability, only supports Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin.
Almost as old as Bitstamp, Kraken was founded in 2011 as a Bitcoin exchange, and only recently expanded into altcoins. Unlike most on this list which require you to exchange fiat currencies to and from Bitcoin before trading in other altcoins, Kraken allows Ether, Ripple, ZCash, Monero and several others to be traded for fiat currency.
PROS: Reliable, supports a variety of trading pairs between cryptos and EUR or USD, low withdrawal fees.
CONS: High deposit fees, not the most intuitive design (recommended for experienced traders).
There is no shortage of Bitcoin and altcoin exchanges and opinion is very divided on which ones are superior. No exchanges appeared on more than 8 of the 10 “top exchanges” lists we consulted, so some reviewers found reasons to leave exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase off some lists.
Be careful if you decide to choose an exchange not on this list. Many other popular exchanges, such as Poloniex and Bittrex, do not support any fiat currencies and can only be used to exchange between different cryptos, meaning you won’t be able to sell your coins for cash.
Payza Unveils a Better Solution
If you’re frustrated by the lack of solutions on the market to turn Bitcoin and altcoins into cash, Payza has a great new option for you. The Payza Card and Payza cryptocurrency loading options let you go from cryptocurrency to cash in a matter of minutes. And we’re working on ways to make that process even smoother! Order your own Payza Card today and find out just how fast and simple it can be to turn digital money into cold hard cash.
PROS: Instant exchanges, load cryptocurrencies to the Payza Card instantly, over 50 cryptocurrencies and over 190 countries supported.
CONS: Identity verification is required to use Payza’s cryptocurrency services.
Whoever coined the phrase “cash is king” probably wasn’t talking about international travel. There are so many reasons NOT to carry cash internationally that an entire industry has been built on providing alternatives – with the downside that, once you’ve booked your flight, it can be hard to decide what the best form of travel money for your trip is.
While cash is arguably the easiest option, major credit cards are accepted all over the world, and traditional traveler’s checks were developed for precisely this reason, these days the secret weapon of the savvy traveler is prepaid cards. Prepaid card technology isn’t new (the first prepaid cards became available around 30 years ago) but they’re finally reaching their potential: for the past few years they’ve been the biggest growth story in the payments landscape, topping 10 billion annual purchases as of 2015, and showing impressive 67% growth since 2009.
Let’s compare the most popular options and see how prepaid cards stack up:
The quickest way to have money on hand when traveling is to take it out of an ATM. But unless you can accurately estimate how much cash you are going to need during your trip, you may find yourself returning to the ATM often and incurring hefty currency exchange fees from your bank as well as foreign withdrawal fees from the machine. Withdrawing a large amount in order to avoid this problem raises issues of its own, you run the risk of having your cash stolen or losing it in your travels.
Traveler’s checks were designed as an early replacement for cash – simply put, these are checks that can be used in the same way as cash, but which requires you to provide proof of identity and signature verification in order to use it. Traveler’s checks let you carry a high value of “cash” without the same risks. But there are still other drawbacks; it can be hard to accurately estimate how much you are going to need for your trip and, depending on your bank, this method may come with high transaction fees of its own.
The biggest drawback for traveler’s checks though is that they are rapidly becoming obsolete. The seasoned traveler will find that traveler’s checks are not as universal as they used to be; just like a regular paper check, fewer and fewer businesses are accepting this form of payment in the age of more modern payment schemes.
The classic solution, as exemplified by the fact that most major hotels will require it as a form of payment, is credit cards. A major advantage of credit cards is that, because you pay them back later, you don’t have to worry about budgeting ahead of time or running out of money. Credit card providers are also highly competitive when it comes to the travel money segment, so many cards will offer a combination of travel insurance, travel discounts and loyalty points as incentives.
But even credit cards come with drawbacks: there is no protection from debt, as you can easily spend well above your intended budget; there are usually high foreign transaction fees when using a credit card away from home; and if you lose your card, there’s a chance that almost anybody can use your it to buy whatever they want, giving you a headache to sort out with your credit card company.
That brings us to prepaid cards – the increasingly widespread, highly effective solution to your travel money concerns. As “closed loop” cards limited to a defined group of retailers fall out of fashion, general purpose re-loadable (GPR) cards, are growing rapidly in popularity. These cards can be used almost anywhere credit cards are accepted, making them just as convenient for travelers. Young adults are using these cards strictly to limit their budgets and in the post-recession world, many people of all ages are finding them to be an ideal solution for making card payments without accumulating credit card debt.
Specifics vary depending on the issuer, but prepaid cards are generally purchased, activated and then loaded with the amount of funds you’re going to need. Typically, you can reload them remotely via online banking or e-wallet and they offer the same liability protections as traditional credit cards.
Prepaid cards provide all the same advantages as other travel money options while eliminating the downsides. It’s still recommended to carry a small amount of cash for cash-only transactions such as coffee and cab fare, and to have a credit card for hotels and others places that may only accept credit, but for everything else, prepaid cards are the solution to all your travel money needs.
The rapid growth of prepaid card adoption shows the appeal of this product. For your next trip, consider using the Payza Card to help you budget for your expenses, keep your money secure, and keep your transaction fees to a minimum. For instructions on how to order your Payza Card, visit the Payza Reference Center.
The Payza Card puts your money in your hands. With no monthly fee and pay-as-you-go transaction fees, our prepaid MasterCard-branded card is an affordable alternative to a traditional checking account. Payza is committed to supporting local payment options for our users all around the world and the Payza Card allows us to provide versatility for our members who want to use their Payza funds online, in-store, or simply withdraw it from an ATM. For more information about the Payza Card, be sure to subscribe to our blog.
The Payza Card is one of our most popular products. It gives our members in over 190 countries a simple way to access the money in their Payza accounts and use those funds to shop online or in-person. The Payza Card can also be used at most ATMs, putting cash right in your hand.
Our customer support team gets asked more questions about the Payza Card than about any other feature. To help answer these questions we recently put together this handy guide to using your Payza Card. You can also visit the Payza Card section of the Payza Personal Manual for more details on how to order and use the Payza Card.
Ordering Your Payza Card
To order a Payza Card, first make sure your Payza account is verified. Only members with verified accounts will be able to order the card.
Once your account is verified, just follow these steps to order your own Payza Card:
- In your Payza account, click “Wallet” in the left side menu, then select “Prepaid Cards”.
- Click “Order your Card”.
- Select the type of card you would like to order and personalize it with your name if desired, then click “Next”.
- If necessary, upload a Photo ID and Proof of Address document then click “Next”. Your documents must be in .JPG or .PDF format and less than 3 MB in size.
- Confirm your shipping address, then click “Next”.
- Enter your Payza Transaction PIN then click “Order” to confirm your request.
Activating the Payza Card
Once your card arrives in the mail, the first thing you will need to do is to activate it by following these steps:
- In your Payza account, open the “Wallet” menu (on the left side) and select “Prepaid Cards”.
- Under the “Status” heading, select “Activate”.
- Enter the first 12 digits appearing on your card (the last 4 digits will already be entered).
- Create a unique Payza Card PIN and click “Confirm”.
- Click “Activate Card” to complete the activation process.
Please note: Your Payza Card PIN is not the same as your Payza Transaction PIN. We recommend choosing a different number to ensure maximum security.
Loading Your Payza Card
Now that your card is activated, it can be used just about anywhere you would use a traditional credit card. Of course, your starting balance on the card will be $0, so first you’ll have to load funds onto it. To load funds, simply create a withdrawal transaction in your Payza account and select Payza Prepaid Card as your withdrawal method. Just follow these three steps to load your card:
- In your Payza account, open the “Withdraw Funds” top menu, then select “Payza Prepaid Card”.
- Select the currency balance you’d like to withdraw from and the amount of funds to load onto your card.
- Review the details and click “Withdraw” to confirm your transaction.
Please note: The Payza Card is currently available in US Dollars only. However, you can load your Payza card from a non-USD currency balance and we will exchange the currency into USD within your account. You can also make Payza Card payments in other currencies and the currency exchange will be conducted by Payza.
It is important to remember that you cannot load the Payza Card using funds added to your Payza account by credit card. This constitutes a cash advance which is not permitted by the Payza User Agreement.
Using Your Payza Card
Once your card has been activated and loaded with funds, you can begin using it immediately almost anywhere you can use a standard credit or debit card: online, in stores, and at most ATMs. Here’s how to use the Payza Card in each of these cases.
Making a payment online with your Payza Card is the same process as using a traditional credit card. You will be required to provide basic information such as your name, the card number and the expiration date in order to make a purchase. You may in some cases also be asked for your billing address: in this case, simply enter your address as it appears in your Payza account.
In-store purchases using your Payza Card are no different from using a standard debit or credit card. Depending on the merchant’s POS (Point-Of-Sale) terminal, you will simply need to either swipe your card or insert it into the card reader, confirm the purchase amount, and enter your PIN to complete the transaction instantly.
Most ATMs that accept MasterCard will allow you to withdraw funds from your Payza Card. To withdraw from the card, just follow these steps:
- Insert your card into any ATM that accepts MasterCard.
- When prompted, enter your PIN.
- When asked for the account type, select “Checking”.
- Complete your withdrawal by following the instructions provided by the ATM.
Solving Transactions Issues
If your Payza Card transaction fails, please ensure the following three things before contacting Payza for further assistance:
- You have sufficient funds loaded onto your card.
- You are using the correct Payza Card PIN (which may differ from your Payza Transaction PIN).
- For online purchases, you are entering the name as it appears in your Payza account, even if it is different from your name as printed on your Payza Card.
If you have ruled these causes out and your transaction has still failed, please contact our Customer Support Team directly for further assistance. If you made an in-store or online purchase with your card and would like a refund or return, you should contact the merchant directly. If they are unwilling or unable to refund your purchase, you can contact our Customer Support Team for further assistance.
As we continue to increase our commitment to local payment options, the Payza Card will be made available to more customers all around the world. For more information about the Payza Card and other Payza products and features, please visit the Payza Reference Center and be sure to subscribe to our blog.
Launches numerous services targeting rapidly developing regions and quickly captivates cross-border payments market
Payza, an award-winning global online payment platform, is quickly gaining recognition as a leading payments solution in the cross-border payments sector for their ongoing eCommerce and remittance offerings. Among this year’s achievements, the company is proud to announce their recent victories for the Customer Choice Award for Best International CNP Program at the 2017 CNP Expo and the Online Payment Method Award at the 2017 Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference.
Payza has been pushing the boundaries in the international payments industry for over 5 years, by consistently delivering innovative solutions and convenient services, supported by top-of-the-line customer service. With a strong focus on eCommerce for 2017, the company’s emphasis has been on cross-border business offerings worldwide, in many cases, by offering local currency solutions and specialized local funding options such as Boleto and Oxxo to encourage domestic economic growth. Another of the company’s core offerings has been their facilitation of remittances: these peer-to-peer transfers across borders, have proven foundational to the international marketplace.
“We helped raise the bar of how shoppers and merchants around the globe interact with online payments in a convenient and secure way,” said Payza CEO, Firoz Patel. “Our success could not have been achieved without our loyal international community. We have a deep appreciation for all our members and are eager to offer continued quality services to meet the needs of today’s global online consumer.”
Patel was recently invited to speak at the Payments Canada Summit in Toronto, Canada’s premiere payments conference, regarding ‘The Building Blocks of a Global Payments Ecosystem Driven by Innovative Payment Platforms’. Mr. Patel offered a compelling presentation on how these new payment platforms, such as Payza, are providing payment services to the unbanked and under-serviced, leading to a fundamental change in how entire communities interact with the global online marketplace.
More recently, Payza became the first payment network to include bitcoin within its eWallet. Unsurprisingly, this announcement spurred excitement within the FinTech community and received notice across international media outlets. Since the company first began offering Bitcoin services to their members in 2014, it has become one of their most popular features. The company is actively working on the release of several other cryptocurrency services for 2017, including Altcoin exchanges and instant Bitcoin funding options for the Payza Card, the company’s reloadable prepaid card.
“Consumer demand is actually what’s making the change right now,” said Mr. Patel in a recent interview with Alastair Greener at Telegraph Studios for Business Reporter’s Future of Payments. “The trends are being determined by their needs, and their needs are dictating that people are looking for faster, easier methods of payment. They just want something more like a one-stop-shop.”
Payza is an award-winning payments technology platform, owned by MH Pillars Ltd. The highly secure platform provides businesses and consumers around the world with practical solutions for processing online payments. Payza supports 26 currencies and serves over 13 million members in more than 190 countries.
Payza serves traditional and emerging markets, providing a wide range of built-in tools including: Online payment processing, online global money transfers, fraud screening, subscription billing, transaction dispute resolution, cryptocurrency exchange services, and global payouts.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/payza-receives-recognition-and-awards-from-fintech-community-for-cross-border-payments-initiatives-300470072.html
Payza was honored to win the Customer Choice – Best International CNP Program at the 2017 CNP Awards in Orlando, Florida. The CNP Awards celebrate the best Card Not Present programs and innovations each year. The win was a first for Payza at these awards and the company’s second major industry award this year, following the Best Online Payment Method Award received at MPE Awards 2017.
The win is especially meaningful as the “Customer Choice” awards are determined through customer votes and testimonials. The support of companies who use Payza for their online payment needs is what made this win possible.
In writing about Payza’s win, CNP had this to say:
Payza, a first-time winner at the CNP Awards, nabbed this year’s Customer Choice Award for Best International CNP Program. Launched in 2012, Payza is a UK-based digital payments company with offices in Canada and India. It provides online payment services for banked and underbanked populations alike in more than 190 countries.
The company notes that it is one of the few online payment options available for businesses and freelancers in regions such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and many other developing and emerging markets.
Local Bank Transfer deposits are now available for Payza members in China and online transactions can now be performed in Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Continuing our mission to provide the best localized services for all our members throughout the world, Payza has launched a new funding method in China, making online transactions in Chinese Yuan Renminbi available to residents of the world’s most populous country.
Adding funds using the Chinese Yuan Renminbi option is easy, and that money is credited to your Payza account within 2 business days. There is a 5% fee to add funds this way.
How it Works
You can fund your Payza account by Chinese Yuan Renminbi using one of three funding methods:
To get started, follow these instructions:
- In your Payza account, click “Add Funds” in the top menu.
- Select “Chinese Yuan Renminbi”.
- Select the Funding Method from the drop-down menu and enter the Amount to deposit, your Chinese Resident ID Number, and an optional Description.
- Click the “Add Funds” button at the bottom.
- Review your transaction request and click “Next”.
- Follow the instructions on screen provided by the funding method you selected to complete your deposit.
The Payza Team has been hard at work making sure all of our members have the best access possible to e-commerce and online money transfers. We’re introducing yet another Add Funds option today: Add Funds by Paysafecard. This feature is open to all Payza members with access to the Paysafecard, which is available in more than 40 countries worldwide.
This is the third new funding option Payza has unveiled this year, following the announcement of the Add Funds by Boleto feature in February, and the Add Funds by Oxxo feature, which came out earlier in April. The Add Funds by Paysafecard option carries a 10% fee and transactions are processed instantly.
Add Funds by Paysafecard – How it works
Loading your Payza e-wallet using the Add Funds by Paysafecard is easy and the transaction is processed instantly, meaning that money is available to send or spend as soon as you complete the transaction.
Here’s how it works:
- In your Payza Account, click Add Funds in the top menu.
- Select “Paysafecard”.
- Enter the currency to use and the amount to deposit, then click “Next”.
- Enter your Payza Transaction PIN then click “Go to paysafecard” to be taken to the Paysafecard gateway.
- Follow the instructions from Paysafecard to complete your transaction.
Once our system receives confirmation that the funds have been transferred, they will be credited to your Payza balance and will be ready to use.
New services for Payza members in Brazil, the land of sun, tans, and monuments by Niemeyer.
Our Brazilian members can now add funds to their Payza accounts using the popular Boleto payment system. As simple as paying a utility bill, a Boleto money transfer takes one to two business days to process and those funds will then be available within your account. The fee to Add Funds by Boleto is 5%.
How to Add Funds by Boleto
Adding funds to your Payza account e-wallet using Boleto is simple. First, request the deposit from your Payza account, then pay the deposit at an authorized processor, such as a post office, bank, or supermarket. That’s all there is to it, in a couple of days, those funds will be credited to your Payza account and ready to spend.
Here are the precise steps to follow:
- In your Payza account, click “Add Funds” in the top menu.
- Select “Boleto”.
- Enter the amount of Reals you want to deposit, your Boleto Personal Identification Number, and an optional “Description”.
- Click “Add Funds”.
- Review and confirm your transaction request.
- We will provide you with your Boleto transaction number. It is important to print or write down this information in order to complete your deposit.
- Visit an authorized processor with your transaction number and pay for your deposit.
Making transactions with Brazilian Reals
With the Boleto deposit option now linked to Payza, we were able to add the Brazilian Real to our list of currencies you can use to make most—but not all—online transactions with your Payza account.
You can perform the following transactions using Brazilian Reals:
- Deposits to Payza
- Make online payments and send funds
- Convert Reals to foreign currencies supported by Payza, such as US Dollars
For more information on Boleto, on services in Brazil, and for all other Payza news and updates, be sure to subscribe to our blog.
Now that you’re set up, our complementary manual will show how e-commerce merchants can best use our digital payment platform.
We are eager to share our latest information resource from the Payza Reference Center. Once you’ve completed the steps of our Merchant Setup Guide and start receiving payments, you can continue receiving guidance from our detailed Payza Business Manual. The manual provides in-depth, step-by-step instructions to assist you with day-to-day payments and business administration duties, as well as a consolidated overview of features available to you as a member of our payment platform.
You can consult the manual whenever you like, here, where you will find helpful guides for the following services and features:
Just like our Setup Guides in the Reference Center, we organized the manual into easy to navigate sections to help you when submitting customer support inquiries. If you encounter difficulties managing your payments, simply indicate the section in the guide you are experiencing difficulties with when you submit a customer support ticket.
(You can find our setup guide for Personal Accounts here.)
Your opinions matter: Tell us what you think
We made this manual for you, our merchants. Though we have a good understanding of your needs, we know that we can strengthen the content of our manual further with your feedback.
We encourage all Payza merchants to view the guide and suggest edits for sections that are unclear, missing information, or are simply not up to par with your expectations. We review all comments and suggested edits daily; rest assured, your inputs will guide us in keeping this manual robust and complete, as well as guide us in developing future resources for Payza members.
To provide your feedback, simply click the Suggest Edits icon at the top right of the page, below the search tool.
Stay tuned and expect an equivalent manual for Payza Personal accounts in the near future.
Payza members can now send secure direct messages to Payza’s Customer Support Team within their account
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – 11/17/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — Payza, a global payment platform, has announced today the launch of a new direct messaging customer support feature with In-Account Support. The service will offer members improved customer assistance by being accessible directly within their accounts wherever they require additional guidance. The new support system will also provide an enhanced mobile support experience to complement the latest version of the Payza mobile app (including iOS), which will be rolling out before year end.
The pilot project for the direct messaging feature has been running since the start of October and is offered to Payza Business Account holders as well as all members in the US, UK, Canada, India and Bangladesh. Now members can submit a support inquiry in seconds without interrupting their session.
The feature comes as the first initiative in a series of enhancements to the Payza user experience. The new Payza Reference Center, home to Payza’s account setup guides, user manuals, and API and Advanced Integration guides, is also currently in development. These services, along with Payza video tutorials published to the company’s YouTube Channel represent a major shift in how Payza envisions providing self-serve and Payza-assisted support to its members.
This new highly secure method of communication will facilitate a prompt two-way conversation between Payza and its members. The feature will also be used to inform members of updates to their account by providing announcements and reminders. Payza will send periodic chat messages and pop-up “Notes” with information about new features, promotions, account updates, and other helpful tips. On rare occasions, Payza will use full-screen pop-up messages for important updates and announcements.
“We are excited to unveil these latest support tools to our Payza members. We believe our members deserve a practical way to engage with our support team. This new system is the ideal solution,” explains Firoz Patel, Payza’s global executive vice president. “The direct messaging feature will provide our members with the convenience they are looking for.”
If a member is unable to access their account for any reason, they can still contact Payza from the Customer Support Page.
To learn more, visit: https://blog.payza.com/payza-updates/announcements/customer-service-payza-account/
Payza is a leading online payments technology platform used by licensed entities around the world. Payza’s highly secure platform provides businesses and consumers with convenient and flexible solutions for sending and receiving payments worldwide. The company offers access to payment services in both traditional and emerging markets, as well as a host of tools and services including: fraud screening, dispute resolution, currency exchange, global payouts and disbursement services. With millions of members, Payza offers its services around the world in 21 currencies, and is proud to provide its merchants around the globe with a complete solution for accepting payments and managing their businesses.
Payza is a registered trademark of UK-based MH Pillars Ltd.