Ken Lo, CEO of ANX, Hong Kong Bitcoin Exchange Talks Bitcoin Debit Cards

Journalist:
Clay Michael Gillespie @thelivingaspect
July 16, 2014

Hong Kong Bitcoin Exchange ANX recently announced that they would be issuing the world’s first Bitcoin Debit Card. The first round of debit cards have been shipped to verified users, second rounds will be shipped this week, and I wanted to speak with someone at ANX about the announcement along with their plans.

Ken Lo, Chief Executive Officer for ANX, took time to sit down with CCN to talk about his philosophy, ANX’s security, the fees associated with the card and their plans upon the card’s success.

[divider] CCN [/divider]

I’d like to start in the beginning. What was the philosophy behind the decision for ANX to release a debit card?

We believe prepaid cards will play an integral role in a Bitcoin consumer’s day-to-day financial life. As a market leader, we felt it was important to go beyond current offerings in the marketplace and bring something new and innovative to our customers. Although the merchant adoption is increasing daily, there are still a lot of places where bitcoins are not accepted. We wanted to allow our Bitcoin users to be able to use their Bitcoins on a traditional payment network that has 30 million merchants worldwide.

A lot of companies are pushing to have debit cards available to Bitcoin users soon. What makes ANX’s card and service the better option?

What sets us apart from the rest is that ANX cards are actually shipping. We pride ourselves in only announcing when we are able to deliver. We have a track record of successful executions.

Examples: world’s multi-currency Bitcoin exchange, world’s first retail store, world’s third ATM, etc.

This is just the first step in our journey to providing our users with a seamless experience to be able to convert their bitcoins into a payment method accepted globally.

Recently, a fairly-popular exchange called MintPal was successfully hacked. Unfortunately, customers fell victim to the theft. Ever since the Mt.Gox meltdown, there are a lot of concerns about keeping money in an online wallet. Can users feel confident in trusting ANX to keep their Bitcoin safe?

Security is of paramount importance to ANX. Every element of our operation has been methodically designed for optimum security. This includes all factors including physical intrusion, exhaustive vetting and background checking of staff members, the cold storage of coins and manual, yet efficient, processing of all withdrawal requests, and dedicated awareness to recurring security threats such as social engineering, phishing, and remote zero-day exploits to name only a few.

Our staff are trained to detect suspicious transactions and requests and are procedurally qualified to comply with KYC and AML policies.

Our conversation was then able to move toward the technical functions of the debit cards. This type of technology is a new introduction to the Bitcoin world, leading many to be curious about the inner functions and fees of the cards along with the service. A few of the main concerns has been security and accessibility.

If some sort of fraud were to occur, as it often does with currently existing credit cards, do users of the ANX debit card have anything to help them retrieve the funds?

The ANX debit card enjoys all the existing bank issued debit card security mechanisms.

What fees will be associated with the ANX debit card?

As our fees may change from time to time, it’s best to check our fee schedule on our website to ensure the most accurate fee pricing.

After visiting the ANX website, the current fees for the ANX Debit Card are as follows:

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ATM Withdrawal – $2.75

ATM Withdrawal Decline – $1.25

POS Purchase – $1.50

POS Purchase Decline – $0.20

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Monthly Fee – None

Card Load Fee – $5 USD + 2.5%

Card Unload Fee – $10 USD

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If I use my card at a brick-and-mortar store, will my transaction be immediate?

Yes.

If the ANX Bitcoin debit card continues to gain traction, could there be plans for ANX to issue other digital currency cards as well? Possibly for Dogecoin or Litecoin?

We are always on the lookout for more convenient and innovative services to offer our clients.

Finally, what is your opinion on the Bitcoin culture in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong being a world financial capital has all the right ingredients for driving and leading innovation in the Bitcoin industry. More and more merchants and people are accepting Bitcoin as payment method. We are glad that we are a part of it!

My talk with Lo was informative and interesting. With the first batch of debit cards already being shipped, it will be interesting to see what the customer reviews say following all of this information. For more information, I encourage you to visit their FAQ page on the Debit Cards.

Image courtesy of ANX

Last modified (UTC): July 16, 2014 07:38

Clay Michael Gillespie @thelivingaspect

Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.