Over the last few weeks and months there has been plenty of news and talk around Telcoin with the release of their brand new mobile wallet and big fundamental news surrounding partnerships with the likes of Vimo. I thought it would be a great opportunity to dive deeper into the Telcoin products and see if their user experience matches the current hype and bullish news.
It’s an article I am looking forward to sharing as it isn’t like other cryptocurrency mobile wallets. As the name probably gives it away, Telcoin have telephone number integration which is quite unique and something I am interested in exploring further.
But first, what is Telcoin?
Telcoin aim to “send money smarter” with “instant, low-cost money transfers powered by the blockchain”.
A statement from their website explains what they are trying to achieve:
“There are nearly five times more mobile phones than active bank accounts, yet people around the world are still lining up to send money from high-cost remittance agents like Western Union. Why waste time and money when you could be using what’s already in your pocket?”
The user experience
Setting up a wallet
Setting up my wallet was an extremely simple process and can be done in less than a minute. You simply supply a phone number and create a six-digit pin, that’s it. It’s very difficult to do something wrong when a process is this simple. However, one question that I have is whether the masses who are already involved in cryptocurrency are comfortable with sharing their telephone number as this is a mandatory piece of information to set up a wallet. You make think this is a silly question to ask as they are called TELcoin after all but seriously, should the user not have the option to solely use their erc20 wallet address? I trust that this was a concious decision by the Telcoin team which I will look into further.
One other question I would like to ask the Telcoin team is how can a user import an existing wallet? When loading the application for the first time, the only option you can see is ‘set up your wallet’. I don’t see how this caters for users who may have purchased a new phone and sync their existing wallet. My guess would be that when you input your phone number, the system recognises that you already have an existing wallet which is great, but that isn’t made very clear to the end user here. What if an individual loses a phone and no longer has access to that number? Again, I’m sure these scenarios have been considered by the team but it isn’t made clear via the app.
Dashboard — First impressions
The first thing you notice when visiting the dashboard is the virtual credit card that is prominently displayed on the screen. I feel the card makes the whole ‘fake internet money’ situation feel a little more real whilst displaying your balance whilst on the back of the card you will find your erc20 wallet address and QR code.
As mentioned earlier, the Telcoin slogan is “Send money smarter”. This instigates to me that their main focus is being a method of payment/currency which suggests that their app should be simplistic. I don’t feel there is a need for extra features with no real use case for Telcoin such as a decentralised exchange within the wallet which you see many other projects integrate.
You visit the dashboard and you have one call to action button at the bottom of the page which is ‘Send money’. I think this emphasises how user friendly the wallet is as it cannot be anymore black and white than that. I think that the minimalistic approach makes the wallet super clean and easy to navigate. Look at the settings page, you can barely do anything! It is that simplistic.
Sending and Receiving
To send and receive on the Telcoin wallet, users have two options. Send/receive by erc20 wallet address or by phone number. I like to perceive this as the crypto enthusiast way or the normie way. I think giving the user the option can particularly attract interest from no coiners and beginners as it seems a far less intimidating approach. Everyone has a telephone number, it’s something we are all familiar with and can relate to whereas managing a wallet address can be a little bit daunting.
To add to the user friendly functionality, users have to input a minimal amount of data when completing a transaction. They either provide a phone number, name and an amount or a wallet address and an amount. There are no further options for transaction speeds or technical, blockchain related options which keeps it really simple for the beginners. If I was being extremely fussy, I would like to see a small button when inputting the amount to send the maximum amount of TEL.
A slight design tweak that I would consider making is around the ‘wallet address’ button in the top right hand corner. It didn’t stand out to me as a button as I originally thought it was a page title. At first, I instantly thought that sending TEL via phone number was the only option. I think changing the colour away from grey (which kind of blends into the background or suggests that it is unactionable) would make it stand out a little more and therefore make the user more aware that it is an actionable button.
A content tweak that I would make on the same page is providing some clarity and information around how the phone number transactions work. Even those with experience in crypto won’t necessarily know things such as; what happens if the recipient doesn’t have a Telcoin wallet set up? Does the name of the recipient have to be their exact name at birth? Although these may not seem important to everyone, these doubts can worry some users who fear losing that money for good. I think an information icon or a link to an FAQ page would be really useful here.
There are a couple of components of a transaction that play a huge part in the overall user experience and these are the transaction speed and transaction fees. As tested with my good friend Teddy Cleps, the speed of the transactions are extremely fast in relation to previous services I have used in the cryptocurrency space. We are talking under 60 second rather than under 60 minutes which is definitely a breath of fresh air for crypto.
What I like about the Telcoin fee is that there is no fluctuation in the rate due to the speed of the transaction or the total amount being sent. All transactions are treated the same at a flat fee of 125 TEL (currently $0.07). How can anyone argue with sending large amounts of money across the world, instantly, for seven cents? Keeping a flat fee also contributes to a significant user experience as it avoids any confusion of the user having to figure out fees, converting to the fiat amount, etc, etc.
When completing a transaction, an important feature in my opinion is the use of a summary page. Once you click to complete the transaction, you are then redirected to a summary page to review your transaction. You even have to select a checkbox to confirm that you have reviewed the transaction. If you make a mistake after all these layers that are actively asking you if you are sure, then it’s ultimately on you.
Overall I think that Telcoin have a really unique infrastructure and functionality going for them as well as minimal and simplistic design. They have opened up a great opportunity for people who are skeptical of cryptocurrencies or aren’t too tech savvy to find a better solution to services such as Western Union and Paypal. As the team continue to BUIDL, it will be great to see whether more users actively chose Telcoin as a method of payment.
Although I do believe there is room for improvement with a few tweaks around the phone number transaction process, I think their unique selling point will be beneficial to the whole of the cryptosphere.
You can find out more about Telcoin and download the wallet on any mobile device by visiting this link.
I did not get paid to write this review so any tips are much appreciated.
- TEL tip jar: 0x467461e2674fd596ad042af5c3f67e2ba9d513b8
This article has been brought to you by elevateUX.
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- I have not been paid by the Telcoin team to write this article. This is something I volunteered to do due to my background in UX.
- All opinions and views within this article are my own.
- This review was wrote on the iOS Telcoin app version 1.0.2.