Since I live in Europe and Coinbase wouldn't let me setup an account in euros, I decided to give Bitpanda a try. I started the setup process and the website was nicely laid out and the setup steps were easy enough. But, to fund an account the easy stopped and the difficulties began. Bitpanda breaks it down into three steps, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The bronze level only required that I have a verifiable phone number. I entered the number and received a text with a verification code. But at bronze level I was limited in what I could do. At bronze level people can only deposit up to €50 euros per month into an account, and it is limited to a total of €600 euros. Silver is basically the same and has the added step of requiring address verification. With silver people can then sell more coin than with bronze. The gold level is where people can deposit up to €10,000 euro at a time with a much larger limit.
I wanted the gold level. Not because I have that much to invest in cryptocurrency but because I wanted to deposit €100 euros, the same as I did in Coinbase. They have an online verification process which will generate a video call with one of three companies. IdentityTM, IDNow, and verify-U. Each has a different requirement for verification. I tried IdentityTM. The girl on the other end asked for my ID. I told her my passport is from the US but I have a valid Irish ID since I live in Ireland that I showed her. She said that it has to be a passport from Ireland. I'm not sure why I would need an Irish passport. In the modern world a lot of people have passports and are from one country while living in another. So, I then started to ask, what other documents could I provide or who could I talk to. She didn't even let me finish the sentence and hung up on me. I'm not exaggerating here and I was very nice in my tone and everything. She literally said, "Thank you, bye." and ended the chat as I was talking.
My next attempt was with IDNow. This person was a bit more friendly. The accepted ID Bitpanda has listed on the website for IDNow is a passport or ID Card. So I held up my GNIB card for Ireland that has my PPS number on it, a picture, and proves that I can live and legally work in Ireland. She said that she couldn't accept it. I asked then what will they accept. At least she didn't hang up on me like the IdentityTM girl did. She did however respond with, "Sorry, I don't know." In essence, the computer scans my card and comes back with a yes or no. Her job was simply to do what the computer tells her. This, BTW is why customer services jobs will be replaced by an AI in the future. Anyway, she told me to contact Bitpanda. She said they are the ones who decided what type of ID are considered valid. So I contacted Bitpanda via twitter and Facebook. They responded with an email address I could contact.
This is the email I sent:
I tried setting up an account this morning. But since I have an american passport she hung up on me. Yes, I am originally from the US but I have a valid Irish identification card, I live in Ireland, I have an Irish PPS number, and valid work visa, which means I can legally live and work here.
1. Why did your agent hang up on me rather than answer my question of what ID I could use instead or provide me with a number or email to contact.
2. Why is my legal Irish registration and work visa not able to be used for verification? Something that works everywhere else.
as per your written policy "check your identity based on your passport or a photo ID accepted by us.
The support person responded with:
You can see the accepted documents here. The verification services can accept no other documents.: https://www.bitpanda.com/verification/accepted_documents
If the documents you can provide are not sufficient, then you can try the alternative web verification service which we also offer. We offer IdentityTM, verify-U and IDNow.
We went back and forth with me simply trying to find out what form of ID they would accept since I have a US passport. And the agent just kept responding with the same thing. To go to the website for accepted documents even though I pointed out multiple times that the accepted documents link provided doesn't actually list accepted documents. Literally, all the accepted documents link says is, "Passport or ID Card"
Eventually we ended with this.
it is in the responsibility of IDnow and IdentityTM to decide which ID cards they accept and which they do not accept. They do not accept every kind of ID Card.
Basically in typical customer service fashion, "I don't know anything please contact the people who previously couldn't help you." I've been to Germany enough to know that they don't believe in customer service and instead of the customer is always right, the customer is always wrong. But, I was actually being very friendly to the first person who hung up on me, and the support person I was emailing back and forth with, couldn't seem to understand that the link he sent me three times only says ID card, it doesn't say what types of ID cards.
With that useless information I canceled my account with them. Honestly I really wasn't planning to invest a lot since I'm just dabbling. In fact was only going to deposit 100 euros. But at a 50 a month limit it would have taken 2 months to get that in, plus the customer service sucked so much, it wasn't even worth it for me.