The cryptocurrency market is all set to hit the $1 trillion mark this year, but the volume of cryptocurrency transactions isn’t as high as it should be.
The problem? It’s still not easy for people to use cryptocurrencies for their everyday purchases.
And this is the problem crypto debit cards are trying to solve.
Blockchain debit card companies want to make cryptocurrencies a mainstream digital payment mode. To make it possible, these bitcoin or crypto debit card makers are offering their users the best exchange rates, blazing-fast transactions, safer payments, loyalty programs and much more.
Here are the top five crypto debit cards that are decentralizing the payments industry and enabling global purchases via blockchain.
The FuzeX Smart eCard supports payments with cryptocurrencies, credit, debit, and reward points. FuzeX wants to solve the “nice to own, but difficult to spend” problem of cryptocurrencies. This card is a winner when it comes to a solution that makes the best of both a user’s crypto as well as traditional currency accounts.
The FuzeX crypto debit card users can embed up to 30 credit, debit, or reward cards into a single Fuze card. They can also connect multiple crypto accounts with the FuzeX wallet and then decide to pay for a transaction using any of these options.
Countries that support FuzeX’s debit card: The FuzeX card is expected to be available in Singapore, Europe, Middle East, Korea, Japan, Australia, US, and Canada among other countries.
Type of card: FuzeX offers a physical debit card.
Card/Transaction fee: The FuzeX card will cost about 150-200USD. (The fee hasn’t been finalized yet. Also, there will be “a minimal transaction fee” for each transaction.)
“We believe that maintaining the current form of consumption is important because we are offering a payment service platform. We chose a card form because the focus was on a more intuitive and comfortably usable UI. It is important to offer the same user experience as before (card form) by using various payment systems and we offer more convenience by adding a display that shows real-time exchange rates and more.” — Daniel Kim, (CSO) FuzeX
Crypterium is more than just a crypto debit card maker. It’s a full-blown blockchain banking system and wants to offers its users the Crypterium debit card to “pay with crypto anywhere in the word.”
Users can link their Crypterium account with their various cryptocurrency accounts and pay at any contactless payments terminals. The virtual Crypterium debit card calculates the fiat equivalent of a cryptocurrency in real-time and offers some of the best possible rates for making the transactions. Crypterium has also built a generous loyalty program that distributes 30% of all merchant generated income to the app users for encouraging more usage.
Countries that support Crypterium’s debit card: The Crypterium virtual debit card is expected to work globally.
Type of card: Crypterium offers a virtual card that’s delivered instantly with onboarding.
Card/Transaction fee: A fee equal to 0.5% of the transaction value (in CRPT) is taken from the user’s account for each transaction.
“Crypterium’s goal is to enable our customers use their cryptocurrency in a real-world environment, and by that I mean to go to Starbucks and buy a coffee with any of their crypto …” — Austin Kimm, CEO of Crypterium.
Amon’s multi-currency crypto debit card is the “first intelligent card on the planet.” The Amon Card is powered with AI that suggests its users on which cryptocurrency to use to pay for a transaction. This feature makes Amon stand out as it helps Amon users find the best value for their crypto coins.
The Amon crypto debit card comes with support for multiple cryptocurrencies and lets users 1) set a preferred cryptocurrency for making the payments, 2) choose a cryptocurrency in real-time while making the transaction, or 3) pay directly with the best-performing cryptocurrency (using Amon’s Artificial Intelligence System).
Countries that support Amon’s debit card: The Amon debit card can be used worldwide and will be shipped worldwide except for the OFAC countries.
Type of card: Amon comes with both physical and virtual crypto debit cards.
Card/Transaction fee: Amon’s virtual debit card is free (without any issuance or annual fee) while the issuance and annual fee for the physical debit card can be avoided if a user keeps some Amon tokens for a stipulated period and makes a minimum number of transactions a month.
Amon debit card users can also get a 0.5% AMN token crypto back for each transaction they make with AMON tokens.
“We are not only creating a crypto card, but also helping users control their portfolios ́ volatility with an in built artificial intelligence. We believe that by assisting users to spend their crypto currencies easily and by supporting them in controlling their portfolio fluctuations, we can incentivize crypto currency usage in daily life.” — Amon’s Whitepaper
The Visa-powered Wirex crypto debit card comes with the “global first” benefit of earning 0.5% of a transaction’s value on all in-store card payments that can be redeemed in cryptocurrency (or in fiat equivalent in £, $ and €).
Wirex’s crypto wallet that powers its debit card is one of the most secure crypto wallets and helps users host both their cryptocurrency as well as traditional currency accounts. Wirex lets users pay for their buys with more than 50 cryptocurrencies and supports ATM withdrawals as well.
Countries that support Wirex’s debit card: The Wirex crypto debit card is available in many countries like UK, Norway, Poland, Netherlands, Ireland, and is rapidly adding support for other countries. Find the full list of supported countries here.
Type of card: Wirex offers both virtual and contactless (tap-and-pay) plastic Visa debit cards.
Card/Transaction fee: Wirex charges its crypto debit card users a fee of £1.00/€1.20/$1.50 per month toward the account management and a fee for each ATM withdrawal.
The crypto debit card and wallet company TenX wants to make “cryptocurrencies spendable anytime, anywhere.”
Backed by Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, TenX currently supports just three cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC). The TenX crypto debit card users get a 0.1% reward (in form of TenX’s native token, PAY) on each transaction and can use the card to pay at 42 million points of acceptance (online and offline). TenX also plans to add support for Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay this year.
To offer its users the best exchange rates, TenX queries multiple exchanges and tries to make the trade on the best BID available in real-time.
Countries that support the TenX debit card: The TenX crypto debit card is available in most countries — here’s the full list. TenX’s availability in so many countries makes it a go-to provider for people from many countries with very few options.
Type of card: TenX offers both virtual and physical crypto debit cards.
Card/Transaction fee: TenX charges its physical and virtual crypto debit card users a card issuance fee of $15 and $1.5 respectively. The annual $10 fee for both the cards can be avoided by making transactions worth $1000/year. Also, TenX doesn’t charge any Foreign exchange fee, which is a huge incentive for using it over its competitors.
“I treat my skeptical friends with a cup of coffee using my TenX Crypto Debit Card. They were so amazed that I paid using my Ethereum linked to my TenX Mobile app.” – A TenX User
Wrapping it up…
The best part about these crypto debit cards is that most of them work with both cryptocurrencies and fiat, which means you don’t have to carry or maintain different cards. You can choose to make a transaction with either crypto or fiat with the same card (or wallet). Some of these debit cards work at ATMs as well.
Whether it’s helping people store multiple currencies in their accounts or helping those abroad make day to day transactions without needing to run to exchanges, these crypto debit cards are democratizing the payments industry. Also, as crypto debit cards are competing on the same benefits as traditional debit cards like transaction fees, maintenance costs, cashback schemes and more — so more competition will only mean more benefits for the users.
However, the crypto debit card business isn’t without risks. For instance, when Visa terminated WaveCrest (a popular cryptocurrency card issues from Europe), many crypto debit cards went out of operation (without any notice). While most of the card companies returned the funds of the users, the users got miffed.
While such problems can happen in any crypto venture, the payments solutions face the highest impact. If you’re working on building a disruptive blockchain debit card solution, team up with advisors who understand the space and can help you in such situations. Check out how Kapitalized can help.
Disclaimer: Kapitalized doesn’t endorse or support any of the products listed. These listings shouldn’t be taken as investment advice.
Also published on Medium.