Image: Coinstar

Coinstar is testing Bitcoin kiosks at select Walmart stores. The cash-only machines allow people to buy Bitcoin. There is a four percent fee for all transactions and a seven percent fee for exchanges. A Coinme account is required and can be set up at the kiosk. There are 200 kiosks that have been rolled out to various Walmart locations. These are not the first Bitcoin-enabled kiosks that Coinstar has rolled out. The company began deploying them to select grocery stores in Florida in 2019. Coinstar has a kiosk finder to locate them. The machines have a limit of $2,500 and do not give change back.

After inserting bills into the machine, a paper voucher is issued. The next stage involves setting up a Coinme account and passing a know-your-customer (KYC) check before the voucher can be redeemed. The machine charges a 4% fee for the bitcoin option, plus another 7% cash exchange fee, according to the Coinstar website and verified by CoinDesk.

Image: Kevin Reynolds/CoinDesk

There is an extensive FAQ on the Coinstar website that details the process for purchasing bitcoin, security concerns, business model information, and information about Bitcoin. Below are some of the questions from the FAQ.

FAQ

Why is Coinstar enabling Coinme to sell bitcoin on the Coinstar kiosk?

Coinstar recognizes that a diverse population has varying payment preferences. As bitcoin usage grows worldwide, our customers will seek greater access to buying and using this new form of currency. Coinstar’s flexible platform and cash acceptor on select kiosks enables Coinme to reach a wide customer base to conveniently provide bitcoin at the local level

How do I buy bitcoin at Coinstar?

Follow these steps to buy bitcoin today:

1.           Create a Coinme account

2.           Find a Coinstar kiosk near you

3.           Insert cash into kiosk (coins are not accepted for bitcoin transactions)

4.           Redeem your voucher and receive bitcoin instantly (per day purchase limits may apply)

Is there a fee?

Each purchase carries a transaction fee of 4% and a cash exchange fee of 7%.

Can I use coins to buy bitcoin with Coinstar?

You can only use paper money to buy bitcoin at Coinstar 

Is there a Coinstar bitcoin machine near me?

Bitcoin purchases are available at participating retailers that have Coinstar kiosks enabled for the Coinme product. You can find a Coinstar bitcoin machine available near you by using our Kiosk Finder

Will all Coinstar kiosks eventually have the bitcoin option?

We hope to offer this service in as many Coinstar locations as possible. However, only paper money can be used for bitcoin transactions, so this option will be available on select Coinstar kiosks that have bill acceptors and also comply with local, state, and federal regulations

How many Coinstar kiosks have a bill acceptor, and will bitcoin transactions be available at all Coinstar locations?

Currently, 7,000+ Coinstar kiosks accept paper bills and could be eligible as bitcoin machines. We are extending this service and bitcoin should be available on over 10,000 kiosks by the end of 2021 —check back regularly for updates!I purchased bitcoin at a Coinstar kiosk, now what?

You must redeem your code at coinme.com/redeem to claim your bitcoin

What is the total market for cryptocurrency? For bitcoin?

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are growing mediums of exchange with a market value of over one trillion dollars

Will Coinstar offer other cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin?

We will be offering other cryptocurrencies in 2021—check back soon for more information!

What if I have more cash than I want to spend on bitcoin? Can I get cash back?

The Coinstar kiosk cannot give change back, so you must load the exact amount to buy your bitcoin. If you want to enter a lesser amount than you have, you can break down your larger bills to smaller denomination bills at the cash register before using the Coinstar kiosk

Will I get a receipt verifying my transaction?

Yes, you will get a voucher that has a redemption code. You will need this code to claim your bitcoin purchase on coinme.com/redeem

Is there a minimum amount I need to load to use the service?

No, there is not a minimum amount

Is there a maximum amount that I am allowed to insert?

Yes, the maximum amount is $2,500 per transaction in most cases. Certain states or areas could have unique restrictions, so always check with the kiosk for case-specific information

How do Coinstar and Coinme make money?

As with other Coinstar products, there is a nominal fee to use the service

Does the retailer receive a share of the transaction fee?

Yes—retailers receive some cash compensation. They also benefit by getting new customers to visit their stores

Do any of Coinstar’s retail partners accept bitcoin currency for payment?

We are not aware of any Coinstar retail partner that accepts cryptocurrency for payment—you can inquire with the retailer directly for up-to-date information

What customer data do you collect?

Coinstar collects phone numbers to generate the voucher necessary to claim your bitcoin but does not store that or any other sensitive data of customers buying bitcoin. Coinme is responsible for collecting additional customer information and is primarily responsible for applicable compliance obligations, including the Bank Secrecy Act

Describe the Know Your Customer (KYC) process:

The KYC process is completed by Coinme. All Customers are fully verified via Photo ID by Coinme upon creation of a Coinme account with a selfie “liveness check” to match provided ID 

• All customers must provide and validate (via SMS) a real mobile phone number 

• All customers must have a non-expired valid ID (US state driver’s license or State ID card)  

• All customers are sanction-screened (via Dow Jones) against most current global government sanctions lists number from being used with more than one account 

• All customers are verified to be 18 years of age or older and younger than 100

• All customers are verified to reside within a state that Coinme is licensed to operate  

Why do you think the KYC process is adequate?

We take this very seriously, as does our partner, Coinme. We regularly evaluate Coinme’s practices and are comfortable with the mechanisms they have in place. We will continue to evaluate helpful processes and procedures regularly

Source: Coindesk (via Gizmodo), Coinstar

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

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12 Comments

  1. After seeing payday lenders charging usurious rates and nothing being done about it, this doesn’t surprise me.

  2. I’ve never quite understood the purpose of these kiosks.

    I mean, they are not ATM’s, as there is no physical form of Bitcoin.

    What purpose do they serve?

  3. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 42963, member: 203″]
    I’ve never quite understood the purpose of these kiosks.

    I mean, they are not ATM’s, as there is no physical form of Bitcoin.

    What purpose do they serve?
    [/QUOTE]
    So non-saavy people can go buy BTC and Coinstar can cash in on the craze. Pretty much same business model they have with coins.

  4. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 42964, member: 96″]
    So non-saavy people can go buy BTC and Coinstar can cash in on the craze. Pretty much same business model they have with coins.
    [/QUOTE]
    Wait tech savvy people have an easy way to convert coins into paper money? Please do tell oh wise one! Unless you mean the bank… most banks are a PITA about stuff like that and just not worth the experience. Plus… speaking personally… when I was a broke person I wanted that money for taco bell at 1am. Banks were not an option. 😉

  5. [QUOTE]
    Wait tech savvy people have an easy way to convert coins into paper money? Please do tell oh wise one!
    [/QUOTE]

    I just bought a cheap coin wrapper from Amazon…. Took me a couple of hours, but the bank took the rolls at full value. I had enough coins saved up over the years to buy my wife’s engagement ring, so it was … a few 5-gal buckets worth of quarters. And the cost was a good deal less than Coinstar’s 7% (or whatever it is now) cut.

  6. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 42966, member: 96″]
    It’s the other way around
    [/QUOTE]

    You said it’s so non tech savvy people can get bitcoin like how they have with coins.

  7. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 42968, member: 215″]
    You said it’s so non tech savvy people can get bitcoin like how they have with coins.
    [/QUOTE]
    Your right, I had misread then edited when I looked at it again. You are quick on the draw. 😉

  8. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 42969, member: 96″]
    Your right, I had misread then edited when I looked at it again. You are quick on the draw. 😉
    [/QUOTE]
    I’m working from home. “Researching Tech” is a part of my job. 😉

  9. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 42966, member: 96″]
    I just bought a cheap coin wrapper from Amazon…. Took me a couple of hours, but the bank took the rolls at full value. I had enough coins saved up over the years to buy my wife’s engagement ring, so it was … a few 5-gal buckets worth of quarters. And the cost was a good deal less than Coinstar’s 7% (or whatever it is now) cut.
    [/QUOTE]

    Last time I emptied out the change jar, I wrapped them up and took to the bank a couple years ago. They wouldn’t take them, said I had to unroll them and bring them back raw. Was a couple years ago (Bank of ‘Murica) so who knows if they still do it. I handed over a giant bag of coins, and they sent me a deposit notice a week or so later… they don’t even do it in branch, they ship it somewhere. I honestly have no idea how retail banks work any more. That particular one however… got rid of all the drive through tellers for ATM machines, and reduced their indoor staff by a ton, with more ATM machines inside.

  10. [QUOTE=”Burticus, post: 43020, member: 297″]
    Last time I emptied out the change jar, I wrapped them up and took to the bank a couple years ago. They wouldn’t take them, said I had to unroll them and bring them back raw. Was a couple years ago (Bank of ‘Murica) so who knows if they still do it. I handed over a giant bag of coins, and they sent me a deposit notice a week or so later… they don’t even do it in branch, they ship it somewhere. I honestly have no idea how retail banks work any more. That particular one however… got rid of all the drive through tellers for ATM machines, and reduced their indoor staff by a ton, with more ATM machines inside.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yeah gotta talk to your bank.

    I have 2 different credit unions – both take them wrapped no problem (they have this scale thing they weigh them in?). Only one local branch has a coin counter you can use for free, but they will tell you it’s broken more often than not and urge you to call ahead to check and see if it’s available.

  11. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 42965, member: 215″]
    Wait tech savvy people have an easy way to convert coins into paper money? Please do tell oh wise one! Unless you mean the bank… most banks are a PITA about stuff like that and just not worth the experience. Plus… speaking personally… when I was a broke person I wanted that money for taco bell at 1am. Banks were not an option. 😉
    [/QUOTE]

    It’s getting pretty close to being able to convert it that fast.

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