Coinbase launches crypto Visa debit card in the UK
US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has partnered with Apto Payments to bring a new cryptocurrency Visa debit card to the UK, reports Jane Connolly.
The company says its Coinbase Card is the first in the UK and EU to directly link to a major cryptocurrency exchange. It is powered by customers’ Coinbase account crypto balances, so they can pay using bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and more.
Customers can use a mobile app to choose which cryptocurrency to debit. Coinbase converts crypto to fiat currency to complete the purchase.
Apto Payments – formerly Shift Payments – previously offered its own card allowing users to spend crypto from their Coinbase accounts in the US. Although that card was “retired” in February, Coinbase has now entered into a partnership providing “technology and support services” for the new card, the Financial Times reports.
Zeeshan Feroz, head of Coinbase in the UK, told the Financial Times: “We are targeting UK consumers because, generally speaking, data shows they are much more open to accepting new types of debit cards. There are a lot of challenger banks here compared with the US, where most people tend to stick with well-established businesses.”
He adds that Coinbase UK is seen as an independent arm of the company and that there is “no timeline” regarding a US launch for the card, although a European version will be rolled out later this year.
Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex, tells us that cryptocurrency debit cards are not new and have been on the market for four years. However, this one in particular is a big milestone for the industry.
Matveev says he expects to see more companies focusing on real-life use cases in the future, rather than trading or cryptocurrency speculation.