Coinbase Credit Card Processing Reviews & Complaints

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3.8
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How did they treat you? ▼

Pros & Cons
Pros: Cons:
Instant currency conversion. Volatility of cryptocurrencies.
Wide cryptocurrency acceptance. Higher transaction fees.
Enhanced security features. Limited regional availability.
User-friendly interface. Potential service delays.
Global brand recognition. Stringent compliance requirements.

Note: The 2023 SEC lawsuit against Coinbase has led us to recommend caution to businesses considering Coinbase for any major payment services until the lawsuit is settled.

Company Overview

Founded in 2012, Coinbase (coinbase.com) is a virtual currency processor that helps users make transactions with digital currencies like bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum. Coinbase's platform is available to developers, consumers, and business owners, but this review will primarily focus on how Coinbase helps businesses accept cryptocurrency payments from customers.

2023 SEC Lawsuit

A major and likely industry-defining lawsuit was brought by the SEC against Coinbase in 2023. According to the US government:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission […] charged Coinbase, Inc. with operating its crypto asset trading platform as an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. The SEC also charged Coinbase for failing to register the offer and sale of its crypto asset staking-as-a-service program.”

This suit is currently ongoing and its results will determine the history of not just Coinbase but likely the entire cryptocurrency segment of the world economy.

No More Fiat Payouts

Like its competitor Bitpay, Coinbase previously enabled businesses to accept an online bitcoin payment from a customer and then receive that payment as a deposit to the business's bank account in fiat currency. However, it appears to no longer offer this feature, which means that merchants must accept payments in their chosen cryptocurrency and then exchange that currency themselves. This leaves businesses vulnerable to fluctuations in market pricing for their given cryptocurrency.

Favored by High-Risk Merchant Types

Bitcoin (like other virtual currencies) is an appealing payment method for many high-risk merchants because of its reputation as “digital cash,” meaning that it is not regulated by bank policies and that all sales are final. However, Coinbase monitors accounts for illegal and high-risk activity, and the company will deactivate accounts that violate its terms of service. For this reason, Coinbase should not be relied upon as a payment processor for fringe products such as e-cigarettes, CBD oil, medical marijuana, gambling, firearms, adult products, or nutraceuticals.

Cryptocurrency Trading on Coinbase

The core service of Coinbase is to allow users to trade cryptocurrencies. The platform supports a wide range of digital currencies, providing users with an easy-to-use interface to buy, sell, and trade these assets.

Coinbase's Wallet Service

Coinbase offers a digital wallet service, enabling users to securely store their cryptocurrency assets. This feature provides a high level of security and easy access to digital currencies, fostering a secure and convenient user experience.

Cryptocurrency Payment Processing by Coinbase

For businesses, Coinbase provides a cryptocurrency payment processing service. This feature allows businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments from customers, opening up new avenues for commerce and enabling businesses to tap into the growing pool of cryptocurrency users.

Coinbase's Merchant Solutions

To further support businesses, Coinbase offers merchant solutions. These services provide tools and integrations to allow businesses to seamlessly accept cryptocurrencies, convert these into local currency if desired, and manage these transactions efficiently.

Cryptocurrency Conversion Service by Coinbase

Coinbase provides a cryptocurrency conversion service that enables users to exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another. This service ensures seamless trading experience across multiple types of digital currencies.

Security Measures from Coinbase

Security is a primary concern for Coinbase. The platform uses a combination of online servers and offline “cold” storage to protect users' assets. In addition, it provides features like two-factor authentication and insurance coverage to enhance user security.

Coinbase Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 30+
Live Customer Support No
Most Common Complaint Account Termination
Recent Lawsuits Yes

Low-to-Moderate Complaint Volume for Coinbase

A review of external sources reveals over 30 negative Coinbase reviews on various review sites and forums. These may represent a fraction of the overall feedback about the company’s services. Key issues raised by users include account closures, software glitches, unfavorable exchange rates, and insufficient customer support. Some of these critiques label Coinbase as a ripoff or a scam. We invite you to share your personal experiences with Coinbase in the comments below, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of their services.

Coinbase’s Approach and Philosophical Stance

A notable perspective regarding Coinbase is its engagement with mainstream financial institutions and acceptance of significant venture capital. This approach diverges from the decentralized, stateless ethos originally associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As a result, Coinbase may not fully align with the preferences of those seeking complete anonymity and autonomy in their cryptocurrency transactions, particularly high-risk businesses. Businesses in high-risk sectors are cautioned about the potential for increased scrutiny and possible account termination when using Coinbase’s services.

Coinbase Lawsuits

Coinbase is involved in a class-action lawsuit, which alleges price manipulation on its exchange, contrary to its terms of service. The current status of this lawsuit is unknown, but it is unrelated to Coinbase’s payment processing services and is not expected to significantly influence its overall review rating.

In 2023, the SEC initiated legal action against Coinbase, a significant development in cryptocurrency regulation. More details on this can be found above.

Coinbase Customer Support Evaluation

Coinbase offers phone and email support, but the volume of complaints regarding account terminations and the lack of real-time support has impacted its rating in this category. Coinbase seems most suitable for individuals new to cryptocurrency, offering a platform for basic trading and exploration of digital currencies. However, it may not be the ideal choice for high-risk or high-volume merchants requiring a robust payment platform for Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.

This content, enriched with SEO-optimized key phrases such as “reviews,” “complaints,” “customer reviews,” “customer complaints,” and “Coinbase review,” is intended to provide a balanced assessment of Coinbase’s services. Your input through comments and reviews is highly appreciated and will enhance the depth and accuracy of this review.

Coinbase Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Reports 4,046

Over 1,200 Complaints

Coinbase currently has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB-accredited. The company has received 3,553 complaints in the past three years. Coinbase has resolved 1,593 of these complaints to the satisfaction of the user, while 1,960 complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the user or did not receive a final response from the user. This low response rate is a major factor lowering the company’s BBB rating.

What Users Say

Coinbase has received 9 positive informal reviews and 484 negative informal reviews to its BBB profile. This profile receives feedback from merchants and non-merchants alike. The most recent review that is applicable to the merchant experience describes a frozen account:

I have been locked out of my account for more than 6 months due to moving countries and having my old phone stolen. Because of that, I have not been able to update the 2 factor authentication. They method to resolve is to verify my ID but it is not verifying any of my 3 forms of ID. I have semt them 4 different emails about the issue and only the first one got a response from and it was clearly a copy/paste. They did not look into my issue otherwise it could’ve been resolved. I just want to access it so I can get ahold of my investment in there and to of course update all my information. Their chat support is complete garbage. If you cannot sign in to your account it will always go back to suggesting ways to access it. Their phone support is literally just to lock your account. No way to speak to a real person.

Business owners should understand why credit card processors hold funds and apply those same rules to their use of Coinbase.

An “F” Performance

The BBB is unable to locate an accurate address for Coinbase and does not appear to have received a response from the company since January 2018. We therefore agree with the BBB’s rating for the purposes of this review.

Coinbase Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties No
Monthly & Annual Fees No
Processing Rates Variable
Equipment Leasing No

Free Cryptocurrency Processing

Coinbase offers a convenient way for users to exchange between fiat currency and multiple cryptocurrencies via its bitcoin exchange, applying variable conversion rates. Specifically, for merchants, Coinbase provides a solution to accept cryptocurrencies only. Merchants can receive payments from customers in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin directly into their secure online wallet without any fees for receiving these payments. However, all transactions and deposits are governed by Coinbase’s terms of service, without the necessity for monthly or annual contracts.

Virtual Currency Price Fluctuation

Accepting cryptocurrency payments allows businesses to avoid traditional processing fees, yet it exposes them to the volatility of cryptocurrency prices. This volatility affects Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies alike, potentially impacting the transaction value negatively if the exchange rates decrease. Nonetheless, this could also appeal to merchants optimistic about the future value of these currencies.

Prohibited Business Types

It’s crucial for businesses, especially those in high-risk sectors, to fully understand and comply with Coinbase’s terms before registering for its services. Coinbase adheres strictly to regulatory frameworks, actively monitoring for any misuse of its platform. Violations of laws or Coinbase’s terms can lead to account termination and possible retention or seizure of cryptocurrencies in the user’s wallet. Coinbase specifically prohibits involvement in activities such as unlawful actions, including violation of laws, regulations, or sanctions programs, particularly those administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or engaging in transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities.

Certain industries and practices are explicitly listed as prohibited, including e-cigarettes, medical marijuana, weaponry, nutraceuticals, adult content, multi-level marketing, and other specified high-risk industries. Nonetheless, Coinbase mentions that money services, charities, skill-based games, and religious organizations may be eligible for the service with prior written approval after thorough disclosure.

An Easy Solution for Crypto Payments

Coinbase presents an affordable and straightforward avenue for businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments. However, its service agreement specifically defines the scope of businesses it can accommodate, focusing on compliance and regulatory adherence to ensure a secure and legal transaction environment for both merchants and customers.

Coinbase Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers No
Telemarketing No
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms Yes

Transparent Price Quotes

Coinbase appears to primarily market its services through traditional advertising and corporate partnerships. There is no indication at this time that the company uses industry-standard independent sale agents or telemarketing to sell its services. Coinbase discloses its pricing and contract terms on its website, but some of this information is not prominently listed. Business owners are encouraged to thoroughly read through the company’s “Help” section if they have any questions about pricing or contract terms.

No Red Flags

Coinbase’s commitment to disclosure, as well as the absence of “teaser” quotes on its website, has earned it an “A” rating in this section. If you suspect that the company is charging you hidden fees, you may be able to find and eliminate those costs with a third-party statement audit.

Our Coinbase Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Coinbase appears to be a straightforward and cost-effective platform for first-time cryptocurrency users looking to accept bitcoin and other digital currencies from customers. The platform is designed with simplicity in mind, making it accessible for those new to digital currencies. Coinbase does not impose burdensome fees or contract terms on its users, which is a significant advantage for small to medium-sized businesses looking to diversify their payment options without incurring additional costs.

However, it is important for merchants to be aware of Coinbase’s stringent fraud prevention policies, which are much stricter than those typically encountered in traditional payment processing. While these measures are in place to protect users and maintain the integrity of the platform, they can sometimes catch merchants off guard. Coinbase is highly recommended for standard-risk e-commerce businesses that want to offer an emerging, alternative payment method. However, it is not currently advised for businesses operating in regulatory gray areas, as the stringent compliance requirements and potential for account freezes could pose significant challenges. Businesses should thoroughly evaluate their specific needs and compare Coinbase’s offerings with those of other top-rated cryptocurrency payment processors.

Location & Ownership

Coinbase is not partnered with an acquiring bank and is headquartered at 548 Market St, San Francisco, California 94104. Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase.

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Which is Most Important for You?

If you had to pick one, which quality would you say will be the most important with your next credit card processor? Tap or click your selection to register your vote:

  1. Low Transaction Fees
  2. No Monthly Fees
  3. No Contract
  4. Reliable Customer Support
  5. Quick Signup

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Coinbase Treat You?

1 User Reviews

  • Santiago Ashley

    I must say, Coinbase has exceeded all my expectations as a cryptocurrency platform! As a crypto enthusiast, I’ve tried several exchanges, but none come close to the user experience and reliability I’ve found with Coinbase.

    Right from the start, signing up was a breeze. The verification process was quick, and their security measures gave me the confidence to entrust them with my digital assets. It’s such a relief to know that my funds are safe and protected by industry-leading security protocols.

    What truly sets Coinbase apart is its user-friendly interface. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a complete novice, navigating the platform is a piece of cake. The intuitive layout and clear instructions make buying, selling, and managing my cryptocurrencies effortless.

    Their selection of supported cryptocurrencies is impressive. I can easily access all the major ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but what pleasantly surprised me was the range of altcoins available. Coinbase stays ahead of the game by regularly adding new coins to their portfolio.

    And let’s not forget about Coinbase’s mobile app – it’s a game-changer! I can monitor my investments, execute trades, and stay updated on the market, all on the go. It’s an absolute lifesaver for someone like me who’s always on the move.

    Customer support at Coinbase deserves a shout-out too. Every time I had a question or concern, their team responded promptly and professionally. It’s evident that they value their customers and are committed to providing top-notch service.

    In conclusion, Coinbase is hands down the best cryptocurrency platform I’ve ever used. The combination of user-friendliness, security, and excellent customer support makes it stand out in the market. I wholeheartedly recommend Coinbase to anyone looking to venture into the world of cryptocurrencies or simply enhance their trading experience. It’s the real deal!

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