Things started out very promisingly and worked perfectly. Users quickly discovered the new way of making deposits and in just a couple of days we processed several SOFORT deposits.
The SOFORT system performs various checks on your bank account and essentially reserves a payment to the bank account of the merchant. If there were enough funds on your bank account, the desired amount was instantly added to your Cashila balance. The actual money from your bank account would arrive after a few days via a standard SEPA bank transfer.
All was well for a little over than a month – the number of SOFORT deposits was rising, and we were happy we were able to offer an instantaneous way of buying bitcoin. However we ran into a problem when bitcoins were bought, but the money never arrived. Someone was buying bitcoin with illegally acquired bank account login data.
The owners of the bank accounts in question thankfully realized someone was abusing their confidential information and cancelled the transactions, but we were left without bitcoins and without the money. It was at this point that we stumbled upon the biggest disappointment of the whole ordeal – the help of SOFORT Banking, or, to be exact, the lack of it.
As you are probably aware, the deposits made with SOFORT were a bit more “expensive” than regular SEPA deposits. This was due to the fee which is charged by SOFORT. What you probably don’t know, is that the merchants (us) are paying an additional fixed fee to SOFORT for their services, on top of the set-up fees and some other costs. You would rightfully assume some kind of reserve fund is formed for cases exactly like these. But, as we found out, you would be wrong.
We actually received zero help regarding the case and were essentially forced to take matters completely into our own hands. There was no help from SOFORT with contacting the banks where the compromised bank accounts were opened and there was no help with contacting the police. And the best part? We were forced to pay the fee for the fraudulent transactions.
It pleases us even the big supranational institutions are noticing there is an urgent need to modernize banking. This is why we were so happy when the European Central Bank announced the development of pan-European instant payments system by November 2017, which will work 24/7. No more waiting for your deposits!
As for us, I am proud to point out we are never resting and are always on the lookout for new features to add, among them of course new and better ways of adding funds to your Cashila account. So stay tuned, we might have a surprise or two prepared just around the corner!