Bitcoin cold storage and wallet provider Xapo has released its long awaited BTC powered debit card.
Shipment of the new card began on July 30th, with users already receiving and using the card to pay for goods and services with the cryptocurrency. Speculations in regards to the company which will supply the card have finally come to light, and Visa is the firm behind the Bitcoin loaded debit card.
A post on the Bitcoin subreddit explains more in depth the real world use of the card. When at checkout the cardholder simply states he/she will be paying with a debit card and the amount is charged with the calculated amount in BTC being deducted from the user’s Xapo wallet. The card essentially should be accepted wherever Visa debit cards are supported. However, the user did state there were issues when using the card online.
“I was not able to make a purchase online using my Visa Debit. I tried once, and will try again to make sure. Hopefully this isn’t a problem. Many online retailers in Europe don’t allow purchases online with Visa Debit so I think the use case for this debit is, for now, mostly in a retail environment,” stated the Reddit post.
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The card itself does require user activation, which will charge the card with a $15 activation and order fee. There have been issues with additional 3rd party fees being charged to the card, something users were assured should not happen after the $15 activation fee. It is important to point out that there are customary fee charges such as ATM withdrawals, card replacement, and currency conversion. There are no monthly or annual fees what so ever.
“There [are], however, customary fees just as with any other debit card. [That] includes ATM withdrawal fees, replacing a card that was lost or for foreign currency conversion. Those customary fees would be charged to you as [a] user. Refer to the Fees & Limitations Schedule to see what they are (don’t forget that Monthly Service Fee will be reimbursed),” stated a support Email from Xapo in regards to fees.
There have been issues with additional incremental fees being charged by Xapo’s payment processor. According to Xapo, the fees will be reimbursed to users as they were wrongfully charged. In addition all reimbursements to be loaded back into Xapo accounts will be done in Bitcoin.
Further more, the cards themselves cannot be sent to the US or India at this time due to regulatory restrictions.
What do you think about Xapo’s Bitcoin card? Do fees and everything else associated to debit cards make it obsolete, or is it a good step in the right direction for adoption? Let us know in the comment section below.