CoinJar’s Swipe bitcoin debit cards are now available to the public after a successful invite-only trial period. The cards can be used to pay for goods at over 820,000 EFTPOS-compatible terminals in Australia, as well as to withdraw cash from ATMs.
EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) is the electronic funds transfer system used in the two countries, which connects with debit card terminals and ATMs.
The company made the announcement yesterday at the Payment Innovations 2015 conference in Sydney.
The launch effectively allows one to pay with bitcoin at any merchant with a debit card terminal. Though it may seem circular–users must first top up their cards with dollars, which are then converted to bitcoins, and then spent as dollars–many users will be happy knowing that their bitcoins can be spent almost anywhere.
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There is a one-time fee of $29 for the card. There may also be a fee levied by the network when withdrawing cash at ATMs.
The full launch comes after a successful trial period where nearly two-thirds of transactions came from everyday goods at cafes, bars and supermarkets.
Samuel Tate, CoinJar’s marketing lead, said, “Bitcoin holders want to use their digital currency for more than just trading or peer-to-peer transfers.” Therefore, its value is best realized made when available for use in everyday purchases.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that the card is also supported in New Zealand. While both countries do support the EFTPOS system, CoinJar has since stated in its support forum that currently, the card is only supported in Australia.