24/7 Exchange is an online digital currency exchange platform, designed to make the process of exchanging fiat currencies into cryptocurrencies, or exchanging one digital for another, as simple and as easy as possible.
They seek to achieve this is through designing a service that is more accessible globally than other similar products. By accepting a very wide range of payment options, including SWIFT bank transfers, debit cards, and even money order transfers, customers can send and receive 24/7 Exchange funds from over 400,000 money transfer offices in 130 countries.
The service doesn't hold the funds in wallets on their own servers, instead handing the exchanged amount straight back to the user. In doing so, users are free to pick their own preferred wallet depending on their security and convenience preferences.
Users signing up for the service have a choice between creating a personal or corporate account for the platform, a password is automatically generated and emailed to the provided address. Once this is created, users must begin the normal currency exchange process of verifying their identity so that 24/7 Exchange can fulfill their know-your-customer financial regulation obligations.
The verification process is tiered for the different services on offer. For users only looking to exchange digital currencies to digital currencies below a value of US$300, only an email address confirmation is required. The requirements rise when fiat currencies are being exchange via the cash deposit option, for example, with users needing to provide proof of email and identity. For the most complex services involving the use of a debit or credit card in purchasing digital currencies, users will need to provide email, identity, address, phone number and credit card number verification.
With their account verified, they have the option of easily purchasing or selling digital currencies on two dedicated pages of the 24/7 Exchange website. The buy page shows the current exchange rates clearly, then walks the user through selecting their country, form of fund transfer for sending, form of funds they wish to receive, the value, and to which account they want it to be sent. The user is shown the fees for the transaction before confirming.
Selling is equally straight forward, and the additional exchange tab allows users to simply exchange the cryptocurrencies they already have into other forms, without having to exchange into a fiat currency.
On all pages, a prominent support button opens a chat window with the 24/7 Exchange support team, who help with any questions or problems. The company also has a 24-hour-service helpline that supports customers in English, Spanish or Russian.
24/7 Exchange also operates an affiliate program through which users can sign up their friends, coworkers and acquaintances in order to receive 30% of those new users' exchange fees.
By making digital currencies exchanges — both between fiat and digital, and digital to digital — an easy and straightforward process, 24/7 Exchange hopes to corner the market for users who want a simple way to transfer and exchange their funds.
The added benefit that the funds are not held within 24/7 Exchange's system, but rather sent directly back to the user, will also reassure those concerned about security issues.
The convenience of being able to buy a digital currency like bitcoin using a debit card, and then later sell those coins and send the funds back to a debit card, will interest a great number of potential users.
The company is registered in Belize, where it has a statutory capital of US$75,000 to protect user funds. It is in the process of opening a U.S. office that will provide services to U.S. customers once the necessary regulatory hurdles have been cleared.
Service fees vary from 1% to 3% depending on transaction type, forms of payment used, and size of the transaction. For some kinds of exchanges, there are also processing fees, for example when purchasing bitcoins with a debit or credit card you pay the 24/7 Exchange fee of 3%, as well as a payment processor fee of 4% + $0.5. The best way to get an accurate fee is to use the buy or sell form on the 24/7 Exchange website to check.
Cointelegraph: What is your overall mission?
Andrey Vereshchagin: Our mission is to create and provide the new standard of digital currency exchange service all over the world — fast, convenient, secure and available for everyone. According to that, our priorities are speed, availability and safety of customers' funds. That's why we offer more and more local options for users from different countries, including the developing ones.
We also would like to mention that with our service the situations of losing funds (like with Mt. Gox, for example) are excluded because we don't hold customers’ money. We send cryptocurrency or fiat (depending on the type of order) immediately after we receive funds from the customer. No need to create any payment accounts or additional wallets with our service. It's simple and secure, isn't it?
As for speed, our service is automatic, so all exchanges are completed extremely fast. Also, we offer various ways of purchasing Bitcoin instantly. Our 24/7 multi-language support (English, Spanish, Russian speaking) will gladly answer customers’ questions.
CT: Can you tell us a bit about the 24/7 Exchange team's background?
AV: All our founders have a financial or IT background. When Bitcoin and altcoins appeared, we decided to build the worldwide service that will break the boards. At the same time, we noticed that there was a lack of easy-to-understand and easy-to-use Bitcoin exchange services on the market and only advanced users could handle all that.
CT: 24/7 Exchange recently partnered with MoneyPolo in order to accept money transfer orders. What inspired you to make this move?
AV: It's hard to buy Bitcoin in some countries and regions, so we want to increase the availability of Bitcoin and to make the process of buying and selling Bitcoin pretty easy. We're building the global exchange platform, and MoneyPolo is an international system as well, so our aims, goals and facilities have been matched.
Many people complain in the web that operations with Bitcoin are too much complicated. Now it seems funny, but there were times when it wasn't so easy to top up your phone or internet balance. We want to make the same with obtaining Bitcoins. It's really simple to purchase cryptos with our service via MoneyPolo. All the user needs is to visit one of more than 400,000 locations (such as banks, shops, money exchangers, etc.) around the world to send or receive a cash transfer. What could be simpler than this?
CT: How do you see digital currencies changing the lives of the world's underbanked population?
AV: Digital currencies bring new opportunities for underbanked people and locations, but only in the case that they can use reliable and convenient exchange services. We plan to come to the local markets in every part of the world. It also will help people to save their money avoiding currency conversions. Africa, Asia, South and Central America seem to be the promising markets for us.
CT: Have you faced any problems keeping the exchange on the right side of the changing regulations and financial rules?
AV: We would like to make Bitcoin available in every place of the world, but, unfortunately, the specific regulations don't allow that. Because of the uncertain or even restricted status of Bitcoin in some countries, we can't provide our service or some options there. When we made the partnership with MoneyPolo and introduced the opportunity of buying and selling Bitcoin using instant money transfers, we could not turn on this feature for some big countries (even though we're able to do it technically), for example, China and Russia. Russia is an attractive market for us. MoneyPolo has a lot of partner branches there, but Bitcoin most likely is going to be banned in Russia. However, we hope that it will not happen and we can offer our Russian clients this innovative payment and withdrawal method then.
So on the way to complete our mission to create the easiest way of buying and selling bitcoins available for everyone, we faced and keep facing a lot of difficulties. One of the hardest parts of the bitcoin exchange business is to build and maintain solid relationships with banks, payment processors, etc. Regulatory issues can make a lot of obstacles for startups as well, especially if you are providing services worldwide.
We still have a lot of work to do to complete our mission and there are a lot of challenges ahead, but we are doing everything we can and seeing the bright future.
CT: Any exciting news or features you're working on that you can share with us?
AV: We're expanding the service's geography (coverage) — soon we plan to come to Canada, at least at some provinces, then — to the USA. We always study our customers' preferences. Many of them want to have more ways of buying Bitcoin in minutes. We constantly work on adding new payment and withdrawal methods bringing the special attention to the instant ones. Every area has its unique payment options, and since we're making the worldwide service, we must include them one by one. These days we're adding local European methods which will allow people to buy Bitcoin fast and inexpensively.
Another direction of our work is support of altcoins. Soon we'll add few more (we already accept Litecoin, Peercoin, Namecoin) and we'll continue doing it in the future. For these purposes, we made the polls for our customers, so that they can choose the cryptocurrencies they miss at our service.
The most used payment methods on our website are credit and debit cards. Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard and Maestro are already supported, and this list is going to grow in the nearest future.
Another useful option which will be integrated to our service shortly is buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptos via PayPal. No need to describe how popular PayPal is as a payment instrument. So we expect that all these things will make our customers happy.