What's going on with crypto debit cards: a brief overview of card issuers current state

What's going on with crypto debit cards: a brief overview of card issuers current state

There is no chance to get a new crypto debit card right now, at least in Europe. Popular services keep on claiming to renew the issue of the cards in the end of 2018, but there is no precise information.

Visa, the payment giant, put debit bitcoin-card issuers in a rather inconvenient position by calling on them to stop operating. The order, which came on January 4th, 2018, was given to WaveCrest, the payment platform working with BitPay, TenX, Bitwala, Wirex, etc.

Most of the debit crypto-currency card operators immediately canceled this product, yet only superficially. Most pre-issued cards are functioning normally, you can even reissue your lost or damaged card (yet users are simultaneously formally urged to stop using them), although it is impossible to order a new card. The companies' websites are working as usual, i.e. you can register and even pass the KYC, but they will not send out new cards (and you won't see this message at first glance).

For instance, BitPay noted that all accounts of debit cardholders from European countries will be closed, and the company will immediately return money to users.

Bitwala will hold an emergency meeting in the near future concerning the need to close debit card accounts and work out a further action plan. Wirex notified customers about account closures via application. A redditor quoted the text of the WaveCrest issuer notification:

We, WaveCrest, are the issuer of your Visa Prepaid card, which you have enrolled for through one of our program partners. Visa have today instructed us that we must close all WaveCrest issued Visa Prepaid Cards with immediate effect...your WaveCrest-issued Visa Prepaid Card will no longer function. However, as your funds were stored in your e-wallet they will remain accessible to you via your wallet provider.

Reddit

Although it seems that in 2018, some cards might start working again.

We made a short list of common debit crypto cards issuers, contacted their representatives and included in the overview those who gave us some feedback:

Xapo

As soon as we can serve Xapo cards again in your country, we will offer you a new card for free — we worked hard to find alternative solutions for you.

Representatives of Xapo

This card was popular among Europeans, though it is only valid within Europe and not in the USA.

Verge

On May 5th, a teaser about XVG debit cards was released on the Verge Twitter account. The company said it acquired a German bank, WEG, which deals with financial technologies related to low-interest loans. However, the future of this venture is still uncertain.

ePayments

The prepaid plastic card issued by the British Electronic Payments Association (EPA) appeared in 2016, first without any crypto-options. Up until recently, it was probably the most convenient card, as it has a handy app and good customer support. However, it does not have the best change rates (2.6% stated, but in reality about 10% loss de facto). As of April 11th, '18, ePayments decided to suspend issuing new cards. The old cards are still in use as before, and you can even reissue your lost or damaged card.

The company did not state the terms of re-issue, nor did they explain the reason why issuing new cards is now suspended.

Dear Clients! We are reviewing the terms of issue of ePayments cards. As part of this process, starting from 15:00 GMT on 11/04/2018, the release of all new cards is temporarily suspended. We will inform you about the renewal of the issue soon. All previously ordered cards work as usual. We apologize for the inconvenience.

ePayments team

Wirex

Wirex have plans for 2018 without giving the specific dates:

We decided to conclude an agreement with another bank and plan to resume issuing cards at the beginning of next year.

Representative of Wirex

Meanwhile, they invite clients to join the waiting list for the new card.

Shift VISA

This card was developed by the American Coinbase company, so it is a popular choice for US residents. Card services are free of charge without any hidden commissions. Shift charges 3% commission and an ATM service fee of $2.50 USD, but only for international transactions. However,issuing the card itself costs $10. Among other things, users need a Coinbase account, to which the card is attached. At the moment, Shift VISA debit card is accepted by 38 million companies around the world, but only theoretically. Practically, as in the other variants, it isn’t yet possible to obtain the card and it isn’t clear when it will be possible.

ADVCash

According to Advanced Cash representatives, Mastercard has forbidden the card issuer Wave Crest Holdings to issue plastic and virtual cards for residents of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA), Russia among them. New Advanced Cash cards for countries outside the EEA/SEPA zone are not currently being issued.

Previously issued cards for countries outside the EEA worked until March 2018, after which they were also blocked.

Advanced Cash promises to make every effort to ensure that despite these changes, the card program in those countries with the largest number of users will operate correctly. However, Advanced Cash has not given any more information about the release/re-issue of cards, or the approximate dates of any changes, in any of the official sources of the company.

Monaco

Current webite name: crypto.com

Monaco Card is a Visa-branded debit card that draws from a cryptocurrency-funded bank account. Since it’s a Visa card, you can use your Monaco card just like you would any other card.

The card and Monaco bank account are free for holders of cryptocurrency. In order to open an account, you simply sign up, verify your identity, and transfer any of the various accepted cryptocurrencies to your account. At this time, Monaco is available to customers in Asia, Monaco token (MCO) is already listed on Bithumb (since April 2018). They also have a waitlist for European customers. Customers in the United States cannot currently use Monaco. However, there are plans to change that.

Our rollout is planned in Asia first, the in Europe, followed by the US. More detailed info about launch dates will be provided when local card programs are ready to live. We don’t have timeline yet, but the app Will end you push Notification when the card is ready to be shipped out.

Representative of Mona.co

Instead of a conclusion

Prospects are hazy, but cryptocurrencies seem to be steadily integrating with society, so the resumption of cards is a matter of time. Germany will probably be the first to reintroduce cards because of its supportive stance on cryptocurrencies. But, again, we can’t say anything for sure without official statements. Users are recommended to pass KYC in advance, sign up for a waiting list, and wait for good news.

By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies. Read Privacy Policy to know more or withdraw your consent.