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What We Need from FinTech and Web3

I recently spent two hours on the phone with CoinBase customer service begging to speak to a person educated about cryptocurrency.

“Please let me talk to your manager.”

“We don’t offer phone-based support.”

“There has to be someone there I can talk to?”

“UH no. My manager isn’t educated about cryptocurrency”

In 2021, I agreed to stake currency in support of Ethereum2. Staking cryptocurrency is loaning your money out to allow the building of elaborate computer networks.

CoinBase made it all sound so wonderful. I could expect a 5% return plus rewards. Early in 2022, they would release my money and I could be done with the deal. Unfortunately, Crypto crashed and my money still hasn’t been released. Prior to the crash, dozens of reputable articles pointed to this being the year crypto went mainstream. If we examine the fine print, staking allows Ethereum to change the rate of return at any time. Ethereum is also allowed to change the date that they release my money. While CoinBase seemed so official, I found myself begging for a ….BANKER.

This brings me to what Web 3.0 and FinTech ironically suffer from. Humans to teach other humans what these tools do. There seems to be a sense that when Web 3.0 finally arrives you’ll never need to speak to another human about money again. We are embarking on this new phase of financial history determined to be isolated pirates.

The Blockchain system is supposed to cut out expensive middlemen that do things like charge vendors hideous percentages to use their credit card processing system. In the quest to slash humans we’ve also slashed education, sales, and fact-checking.

I found out the hard way how much we need humans. Someone signed my name to a check at work. They were able to easily cash the check because checks aren’t even analyzed by humans anymore.

As Gen Y ages what do we want? To call a person who gives a hoot on the phone just like our Grandparents expected they could do. This is the least guided and protected generation in history. We want first-class customer service WITH the increasing flexibility of a blockchain world.

When we get that supportive human on the phone we have already decided we need the product. Spare me the Vitavitavegimin sales pitch.

I once set out to buy a modernizing restaurant point of sale system. I dialed the number with my credit card in hand. Three months later, I had been passed around to so many salespeople for follow-up, I had lost my mind. “Please just stick it in a box and ship it to me?” I never bought the thing I called up to buy because they needed to keep having conference calls. Only one salesperson seemed to know how to place an actual order. We don’t just want more humans. We want effective humans.
So here are the FinTech Web3 rules:

    1. All of these new financial toys need customer service. CoinBase sounds like one guy sitting alone in a dark room on the phone.

    2. The money in FinTech / Web 3 will be in educating people. Every restaurant exploited by GrubHub needs to know how they can take orders with blockchain payments

    3. If I have to be passed to a different department, you’ve failed me. We can't have a financial revolution if only one guy in the company understands it.

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