We recently tested Bylls.com, a Canadian company offering Bitcoin payment services for everyday bills like credit cards, hydro accounts, taxes and cell phone and internet charges. You can also sell your Bitcoin on Bylls and automatically deposit the CAD$ in your bank account—a similar process to an exchange withdrawal.
Bylls allows Canadians to cash-out Bitcoins in a quick, private and secure way. You send your Bitcoin from your own wallet directly to Bylls allowing you to make CAD$ payments while bypassing banks and exchanges, making the whole process very easy.
The experience was very smooth and only took a few minutes to complete a credit card payment with Bitcoin. We were extremely impressed and would recommend the service to anyone looking for a fast and convenient way to use Bitcoin for everyday bill payments.
Remember, a good way to contribute to the Bitcoin network is to support it by spending (and replacing!) Bitcoin whenever you can instead of just holding. Bylls is one of the few legitimate options for Canadians to do this.
A word about security and privacy …
According to their website, Bylls is owned and operated by Satoshi Portal Inc., a regulated Money Service Business registered with FINTRAC, Canada’s financial services regulator.
While Bylls does collect certain information, such as your name, email, phone, Bitcoin address, IP address and device/browser information among others, they do not pass this information on to anyone (unless requested by the authorities). Standard recipients of CAD$ payments—banks, cell phone companies, etc—do not know that a payment was made using Bitcoin via Bylls. However, recipients can initiate their own investigation which would likely reveal Bylls as the sender.
The standard fees charged by Bylls are competitive. The Bitcoin spot price offered at time of publication was approximately 0.7% below Canadian exchange rates so this is something that should be considered. However, the BTC price offered is comparative to most large exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp, etc. So, as you’ll see below, it can actually work out cheaper to use Bylls than to manually sell and withdraw CAD$ from an exchange.
As an example, our $1,000 payment to our credit card incurred standard fees of $5.95, and an approximate ‘loss’ of $7.00 in spot price differences—for a total cost of ~CAD$13.00.
However, if you factor in the cost of selling Bitcoin on a Canadian exchange, the premium for using Bylls can be considered to be just the spot price difference (0.5-1%). Also, bear in mind that withdrawing CAD$ from a Canadian exchange is a tricky and very lengthy process at the moment, so this convenience fee may be well worth it—depending on your desired outcome.
|$1,000||Payment to credit card|
|$0.95||Flat Rate Fee|
|$5.00||0.5% Processing Fee|
|~$7.00||~0.7% Bitcoin spot price (QuadrigaCX @ CAD$9,075 / Bylls @ CAD$8,450)|
As a comparison, selling $1,000 of BTC on QuadrigaCX would cost $5 (0.5%), which is roughly the same as the Bylls processing fees. And withdrawal fees to your bank account or credit card can be anywhere from 0% to 2% ($20). So while $13 seems high, it can actually be cheaper to automate the process through Bylls—as opposed to a manual process via QuadrigaCX.
Bear in mind that processing fees are not uniform, but strangely increase on larger payment sizes, so this is something to be aware of.
Bylls does offer payments where the flat rate and processing fees are waived. However, users are limited to smaller payments—currently set at a maximum of $100 per day / $500 per week.
Let’s get started!
In this quick tutorial we’ll walk you through the quick and easy process of signing-up for Bylls, and sending a Bitcoin payment to your Canadian credit card.
Step 1 – Create Your Bylls Account
The first step is to sign-up for a new account at Bylls. The process is very easy—you can use your social media accounts, connect via online banking or use a standard email registration.
If you like, you may use the following referral link: https://bylls.com/signup?referralcode=5dd34c9d9b740a9b207abb0cf7d401a7796ade6527
Once you have setup your account, you will be taken to your dashboard. Your name, email and phone number is the minimum account information required to make a payment, so it’s a good idea to add your name and verify a phone number at this point, before initiating your first payment.
It’s also a good idea to switch on two-factor authentication when using any cryptocurrency or financial platform.
Step 2 – Add a Payee
Next you’ll need to add a Payee or Biller. First, select the type of service you would like to pay …
Select Your Biller
- For paying most bills, such as credit cards, lines of credit, taxes, cell phone and internet bills, etc.
- For an individual, such as family or friends, or a company that is not available in the Biller database.
- This option is for simply ‘selling’ your Bitcoin to Bylls and sending CAD$ to your own bank account.
If you are a returning customer, you will see an additional choice labelled Use Existing which lists your previous Payees for easy selection.
As this was our first payment, and we wanted to pay a credit card, we clicked Choose under the Select Your Biller option.
The next screen allows you to search for a Biller by typing into the box provided. We started by typing ‘visa …’ which brought up the list of Visa credit card companies in Canada. We found our issuing bank on the list, so we clicked ‘Visa TD Canada Trust‘.
Next you’ll need to enter your credit card number in the Account number space.
Finally, add a Label to this Payee for your own reference. When you’re ready, click Get price to proceed.
Step 3 – Create an Order
On this screen you’ll be shown a summary of the information you entered previously, as well as the current Bylls Bitcoin spot price.
By entering the amount you want to pay, you can calculate how much Bitcoin you will need to send. This amount includes all fees. If you are happy with the information provided, click Create Order to initiate the payment order.
Step 4 – Send Bitcoin
Once an Order is created, you will be taken to the individual Order screen, as shown below.
The two main areas on the Order screen are the progress bar and the Invoice box.
The progress bar will show you how much time you have remaining to make the Bitcoin payment—and later, how far along in the process you are.
This is the most important area, as it gives you all the information you need to make your Bitcoin payment.
Making the Bitcoin payment …
The Invoice box shows the two pieces of information required to make your payment—the final Amount, and the Bitcoin Address to send this amount to. There is also a QR code available to scan if you are sending from a mobile wallet, for example: Coinbase or Jaxx.
In our test, we wanted to send Bitcoin from our QuadrigaCX wallet. We logged into our Quadriga account and clicked Withdraw under the XBT balance dropdown. Next we entered the payment details provided on the Bylls Order page (Amount and Address).
After we clicked Confirm, the payment was detected almost immediately by Bylls, and it took approximately 9 minutes for the payment to receive 1 confirmation on the blockchain. Be sure to initiate the payment as soon as possible after you create the Order, to avoid the Bylls quoted price timing out after the 15-minute limit.
Note: If you send your payment and it does not arrive within the 15-minute timeframe, the rate will be automatically refreshed and the Order will proceed at the new rate. If the new rate is higher, your recipient will receive a smaller amount of CAD$. If the new rate is lower, you will need to contact Bylls to request a manual refund of the difference, which may incur a processing charge.
All you need to do now is simply wait for the payment to be made. The Order screen will show an updated progress bar allowing you track the payment.
After the payment receives one confirmation on the blockchain it will be marked as Payment Received on the Order page. Payments received Monday to Friday before 2 p.m. EST will be processed immediately by Bylls. All other orders will be processed the following business day.
The final CAD$ payment amount should arrive at its destination within regular banking timeframes, usually 2-3 business days.
The process is very easy from start to finish and we would definitely recommend it for those who would benefit from using their Bitcoin in this way. Fees have been reducing and are currently very competitive. Bylls have been actively testing and implementing new Bitcoin technologies such as the Lightning Network, and so we do hope that these developments can help lower fees even further for users over time.
Bylls Referral Codes
Please feel free to use the following referral code when signing up for Bylls.com …
Referral Code: 5dd34c9d9b740a9b207abb0cf7d401a7796ade6527
This article was updated on September 13, 2018 to reflect the reduced costs announced by Bylls.