- Cryptopay offers Visa bitcoin debit cards in GBP, EUR and USD.
- Cards must be preloaded with bitcoin prior to usage through online interface.
- Relatively good fees and service, but questions about funding and team.
Cryptopay offers bitcoin visa debit cards. You can sign up and get a virtual card in an instant, or order pin and/or chip plastic cards, which cryptopay will ship for free worldwide. The cards come in EUR or GBP denominated cards with USD soon to come according to the site. Cryptopay not only provides an extremely simple off ramp for your bitcoin, it offers a new level of convenience for international travelers, who can now easily convert bitcoin into multiple currencies, and spend abroad with fees the same as local residents.
If we were to judge by fees alone, and assuming that cryptopay does indeed integrate USD, Cryptopay would probably rank as the best international bitcoin debit card out there. However, the founders are somewhat unknown in the market and they have not achieved any level of funding.
Cryptopay has teamed up with bitgo to offer an extremely secure bitcoin “FLEX” wallet. Bitgo’s multisig technology is widely thought to be the most secure hot wallet solution on the market, utilizing a 2 of 3 signature methodology – in which bitgo and cryptopay must both sign a transaction request, which are automatically run through bitgo’s standard fraud checks – prior to withdrawing bitcoin from the wallet. This means that, in the event of a server side breach, a hacker would not be able to transfer bitcoin out of the wallets without also breaching the bitgo database. Or at least, that is how the argument goes.
How to Get a Card
After registering your name and email, you’ll be redirected to your accounts page, which lists the amount in your balances – bitcoin, euro and pound sterling – and a button offering the option to order a cryptopay card.
The order screen offers the choice of physical debit and virtual debit cards, the former which obviously requires inputting address details in addition to simply paying and receiving your credit card number.
Once the card has been ordered, you can go ahead and load it up from your bitcoin wallet.
How to use the card
Cryptopay is essentially a prepaid debit card, similar in functionality to e-coin, but using visa rather than mastercard, which is preferred by many. Once the card is loaded, it may be used at any point of sale or ATM machine that accepts visa, and performs exactly the same as a normal visa would. Nobody but you needs to know that bitcoin was used to load up the card!
Cryptopay is a great off ramp for those who would like an easy method of using bitcoin in their day to day commercial dealings; however, where cryptopay and cards like it have the ability to be truly disruptive, in our opinion, is in the convenience offered for international travel. Essentially, users may order a debit card in the currency of their destination and, once loaded, it will perform just as a domestic card might. The ATM and POS fees are the same as those of a local resident. Furthermore, you can throw the advanced planning out the window – no longer must one determine where to exchange currencies and how much; which credit card to use and which to leave behind – with cryptopay you can load up the card at a flat 2.5% estimated rate whenever you want in seconds, and use it like a local.
|Point of Sale Charge||Free||Free||Free|
|Issuance Fee – Plastic||$15||€15||£15|
|Issuance Fee – Virtual||$2.50||€2.50||£2.50|
*Cryptopay advertises a 1% loading fee – additionally, we have found that there is an approximate difference of 1.5% between the rate at which cryptopay “buys” bitcoin in the loading process and the price listed at the large exchanges. We include this difference in the loading fee percentage above.
|Number of Online Purchases (day)||No Limit||No Limit|
|Value of Online Purchases (day)||No Limit||No Limit|
|ATM Transactions (day)||2||2|
|Limit per ATM Transaction||$€200, £160||$€1,000, £800|
|Max ATM Withdrawal (lifetime)||$€1,000, £800||No Limit|
|Max Load (day)||$€2,500, £2,000||$€20,000, £16,000|
|Max Load (lifetime)||$€2,500, £2,000||No Limit|
Unfortunately, you’ll have to do with a web-based mobile product which, to be fair, is nicely optimized for easy loading.
Support seems fairly good compared to competition like Xapo, which is notoriously horrible, or e-coin.io who also doesn’t respond frequently. Immediately upon registration, users will receive an introductory email from Aleksey, the client relationship manager, who also endeavors to quickly respond to user queries.
Cryptopay is basically the same product as e-coin.io – same fee structure, same methodology, same limits – except that is uses Visa instead of Mastercard which many will see as a big point in its favor. On the other hand, e-coin has raised a modest sum of money – $100,000 or so – and it’s management team is a bit better known. Both products are very good choices for multicurrency bitcoin debit cards – assuming that cryptopay intergrates USD of course – and if you haven’t already, give one a try.