SpectroCoin, the U.K.-based bitcoin exchange and wallet, has introduced bitcoin debit cards denominated in USD and GBP, complementing its existing EUR-denominated cards. These cards remove the fiat conversion fees needed with regular debit cards when using a specific denomination in a foreign country.
Bitcoin debit cards make it easier for bitcoin holders to use bitcoin for making both online and offline payments. The bitcoin-funded cards remove the need to convert bitcoin into fiat to make payments. The SpectroCoin cards are accepted where MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Users can fund the cards with bitcoin using the SpectroCoin wallet.
The prepaid card can be used at any ATM or retail establishment as an ordinary payment card, according to the company website . The card is immediately funded, eliminating the need to exchange bitcoins prior to using the card. Users do not have to wait for a bank wire transfer.
To get a card, a user goes to the deposit section on their SpectroCoin account. They will then see deposit options where they can choose the currency they wish to use. They enter the amount of money they want to receive and select MasterCard or Visa as the deposit option.
The user then enters personal details, including mobile phone number, email and billing address, and they confirm the details and click “pay.” Once this process completes, the card account is funded and ready to use.
The price of the virtual card is 0.5 in USD, GBP and EUR. The price for the physical card is $9.00/€8.00/£6.00. The fee for expedited shipping is $75/€69/£50.
Delivery is one to three weeks for the physical card and instant for the virtual card.
There is no service fee if the card balance is zero. The monthly service fee is $1.00/€1.00/£1.00 for both the physical and virtual card.
The card top up from the SpectroCoin account is 1%.
The fee for ATM withdrawal in domestic currency is $2.50/€2.25/£1.75. The ATM withdrawal fee in another currency is $3.50/€2.75/£2.25.
There is a 3% currency exchange fee if paying in a currency other than the default currency (USD/EUR/GBP).
There are separate fees for verified and unverified cards. Users can verify cards by providing a passport or ID card and a utility bill.
Debit cards have emerged a way for bitcoin holders to use bitcoins for retail purchases.
In November, Coinbase introduced what it claims is the first U.S.-issued bitcoin debit card, the Shift Card. This debit card is a Visa card that allows Coinbase users in 24 U.S. states to spend bitcoin online and offline at more than 38 million merchants worldwide, CCN.com reported.
E-Coin has launched a bitcoin debit card that works where Visa is accepted.
Images from Shutterstock and SpectroCoin.