Major US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has released its Visa debit card, where users fund their card purchases through their cryptocurrency balances on Coinbase. For now, only residents in the UK are able to sign up for it, with Coinbase working on expanding the card to elsewhere in Europe.
Called the Coinbase Card, the exchange claims in an official blog post (Apr 10) that it will “instantly” convert a user’s crypto to fiat at the point of making a card transaction. Some other crypto-linked debit cards first require a user to pre-perform a crypto-fiat conversion to deposit fiat currency in the card’s balance before it can be used.
The Coinbase Card supports all crypto assets available to buy and sell on its exchange. Coinbase currently lists 11 different tradeable tokens, including more common ones like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), but also the likes of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Stellar Lumens (XLM).
A corresponding smartphone app for the card has also been launched for both iOS and Android platforms, which lets users decide their crypto preference from which to make their purchases. The app also comes with features to track receipts, transaction summaries, and spending categories amongst others.
While the card can be used via the smartphone app for transactions, requests for issuance of a physical plastic card is chargeable at GBP 4.95 (USD 6.50). Coinbase says this amount will be waived for the first 1,000 applicants as part of the card’s launch. Paysafe Financial Services Limited – a multinational online payment company – will be handling the issuing license for the new card.
The card can be used like any other Visa card for purposes like ATM withdrawals, and contactless payments, but also comes with its own charges depending on the type of transactions made. For example, domestically made transactions are free, but a fee of 3% of the transaction value is levied for international purchases.
CNN noted that a similar Coinbase card for users had been previously released in the US by Shift Payments. It has since folded, but Shift — now called Apto Payments — is a partner in the UK venture.