Little over a month ago, Bitcoin ATM manufacturer Robocoin switched their business from deploying hardware to creating a more versatile software package to take on the remittance market. But it seems as if some companies are not seeing the benefits of that approach and have ditched Robocoin altogether in favor of the competition.
BitNational Dumps Robocoin
Just a few days ago, a shocking announcement was made by BitNational, a company known for their Bitcoin ATM operations. In fact, BitNational operates nine different Bitcoin teller machines across all of western Canada, and they have recently acquired Bitcoin Brains, a Canadian Bitcoin brokerage company.
Even though BitNational operates their own machines, they rely on software provided by other companies, and this is where the problems surfaced. Not only did BitNational’s flagship ATM suffer from multiple technical issues, but customers using the machine also voiced the concern regarding privacy issues when using the Robocoin software.
These privacy concerns were mostly focused on Robocoin’s rather intrusive identity verification procedure. Not only are customers required to scan their ID by using the machine’s built-in camera, but a palm vein scan is also required. It goes without saying that, while providing an ID scan is not that uncommon, forcing customers to scan their palm veins is taking things to an entirely different and uncomfortable level.
As intrusive as this verification may sound, any Bitcoin ATM operator is required by their bank to enforce Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules. Unfortunately, for BitNational, they had no other option than to stick with Robocoin’s verification procedure until a proper alternative presented itself. More customer complaints ensued, and the Bitcoin Teller machine quickly became less and less profitable.
Things took a turn for the worse when Robocoin remotely installed version 2.0 of their Bitcoin ATM software package. Littered with various software bugs, Robocoin’s new software lead to various glitches during the usage of the BTM, and in more than a few cases, a black screen rendering the machine useless until it was rebooted. Once again, this was not doing the already less-profitable machine any favors, and BitNational had to come up with a solution.
BitAccess Makes The Location Profitable Again
Obtaining a license to host a Bitcoin ATM at a certain location is not easy, and in the case of BitNational, their reputation was taking quite a beating. Especially if that location is North America’s largest mall, word travels fast regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Luckily for BitNational, another Bitcoin ATM company offered a solution at the most opportune time.
In May of 2015, BitNational found a way to upgrade the software of their machine at North America’s largest mall. Rather than sticking with Robocoin’s software version 2.0, they swapped over to BTM software provided by BitAccess. And, todate, both BitNational and all BTM users have nothing but praise for this change.
“September 2014 was our busiest month, and with the software update in October, it went downhill. March and April were our worst months of operation. In May (with the switch to BitAccess) our sales increased 400%, and we got lots of phone calls thanking us for making the BTM useable. We haven’t gotten any negatives and the simplicity is definitely uncontested compared to Robocoin.” – BitNational Co-founder Drew Glover told the media.
The interesting part about this change to BitAccess comes in the form of the free BTM software upgraded to BitNational. This move is rather uncommon, as software providers make most of their money from providing a software solution to BTM owners. BitAccess decided to take a slightly different route in this matter, by using this BTM as a test to see if their software would function properly on the machine.
“Other Robocoin operators should know that there are alternative options. General Bytes, for instance, charges ~$1500 to modernize a Robocoin machine: a machine that most paid north of $20,000 for, initially. As we have experienced, these alterations can lend a new life to a machine that had been all but abandoned and discredited. Robocoin machines were guaranteed to us at the point of sale to be supported for 20 years. In our experience, however, this support lasted merely seven months.” – Drew Glover concluded.
It is interesting to note that, since BitNational switched to BitAccess’ software, the machine has seen a revenue increase of 400% in just one month.
Source: News tip via Email
Images courtesy of BitNational, Robocoin, and BitAccess.