Cryptocurrency Debit Card: What It Is and How It Works
Several companies in the cryptocurrency sector have found in crypto debit cards the way to make it easier for people to use digital assets in everyday purchases — all without depending on the merchant being willing to accept this form of payment.
The numbers prove that there is demand for these services. In the last quarter of 2021 alone, Visa processed $2.5 billion in cryptocurrency card payments from more than 65 crypto companies using its brand — 70% more than all transactions made with cards in this category for the year. fiscal 2021.
Large companies operating in the crypto sector already offer this service to their customers, such as Ripio, BlockFi, Ledger, BitPay, including cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase, Binance, Crypto.com and Gemini.
Here in Brazil, however, there are still few options available to the public. But this picture may be about to change. Recently, Binance launched its debit card in Argentina — the first country in Latin America to receive the service — offering users an 8% cashback in BNB, the exchange’s native cryptocurrency. In addition, the largest brokerage in the world said that it also plans to launch this card in Brazil soon.
Nothing better then to be prepared. See how this product works and the care needed for its use.
How crypto debit card works
A cryptocurrency debit card tends to work in the same way as a traditional debit card. That is, the user must have sufficient funds in their account to purchase a good or service with the card, as the charge will be applied at the exact time of purchase.
Debit cards usually work like a prepaid card: within the application or website of the company that offers the service, the user allocates an amount of cryptocurrencies from their account that can be spent on payments with the card.
A benefit of these cards is that they eliminate the need for the user to convert their cryptocurrency to a fiat currency on their own. This allows the user to “hold” their digital assets longer, and use them when they need to.
Cryptocurrency debit cards are generally the most used by the crypto community as, unlike credit cards, they do not require the user to provide income details to have the credit released by the card issuing company.
What are the advantages of using a crypto debit card?
Perhaps the biggest benefit of crypto cards is their acceptability, as they eliminate the need for a merchant to be willing to accept cryptocurrency payments.
In fact, the merchant doesn’t even need to know that that transaction is being processed with a digital asset.
With cards of this category, the cryptocurrencies that the user uses to pay the bill are instantly converted into fiat currency when it arrives at the merchant’s cashier, which prevents him from being affected by possible price fluctuations, which are common in this market.
This is possible thanks to the services provided by large payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard, which perform the conversion between assets without the user or merchant noticing.
In this way, debit cards that carry the Visa or Mastercard brand can be accepted in thousands of businesses around the world.
What are the benefits for the user?
Several companies in the industry that have cryptocurrency debit cards often offer extra benefits to their customers. An example is cashback on purchases made with the card, usually passed on to the customer in the form of Bitcoin (BTC) or a token created by the platform that offers the service.
Ripio, when it launched its prepaid card in Brazil last month, offered a 5% bitcoin cashback until the end of October as a way to attract new customers.
Here, the user must be aware that some benefits are part of promotional campaigns and may have a limited duration.
But there are also cards with different levels of pre-established benefits, such as those offered by Crypto.com, which can offer cashback in Cronos (CRO), as well as discounts and free subscriptions to services like Netflix and Spotify.
to keep an eye on
It is important to point out that many of the benefits offered by crypto cards on the market do not come for free. In the case of Crypto.com, for example, the user must stake the CRO, that is, expose themselves and keep funds locked in the platform’s own cryptocurrency.
Another point that the user should pay attention to when using a crypto card is the volatility of the asset that he intends to use to pay for a purchase. That’s because if the investor bought that currency when its price was high and used it to pay for a purchase when its price was low, he may end up suffering a loss in this movement.
In addition, it is important that the user is also aware of the fees charged by crypto card issuers, which may vary from company to company.