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The First Cryptocurrency-Backed Prepaid Card in the US

Wirex – the payments pioneer that aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and everyday spending – announced that they have teamed up with payments processing technology provider i2c to launch the United States’ first multiple cryptocurrency-backed prepaid card. It means that Wirex will be extending its European Wirex Visa Card programme, that allows cardholders to use the card anywhere Visa is accepted. Accordingly, American consumers will be able to instantly convert their digital currencies and spend using their Wirex prepaid card. It will allow American consumers to instantly convert their Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum or Litecoin and spend in: stores, bars, and restaurants, on transport, online or withdraw from ATMs.

Cryptocurrency witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity, with the total market capitalization worldwide approaching $250 billion, but with only 0.3% of the world’s merchants accepting cryptocurrency, the ability to use cryptos remains limited. Since 2014, Wirex has solved this universal pain point by giving consumers the ability to spend their cryptos as easily as traditional money.

“Our mission is to bridge the gap between traditional money and cryptocurrencies, so our clients can use their digital money for everyday purchases. Our data shows that cryptocurrency adoption is increasing in retail environments. Somewhat surprisingly, McDonald’s takes the top spot when it comes to spending on the Wirex cards amongst European users, followed by major grocery stores. The relationship with i2c will enable Wirex to be the first crypto-friendly payment platform to offer this innovative service in the US.” – said Vroon Modgill, CEO of Wirex North America. 

The partnership will facilitate the introduction of the Wirex prepaid program, similar to their existing Wirex Visa card programme in the EU, where it is the only company to have a fully-functioning card that allows seamless spending of crypto. The Wirex prepaid card leverages i2c’s payments processing platform, which allows card issuers to quickly create and scale high-value payment and digital commerce solutions on a single global SaaS platform with industry-leading reliability and security. i2c’s payments processing technology supports advanced payment features and functionality such as multi-currency and multi-purse technology. They also offer card controls that give cardholders more options when implementing budgets, spending controls, and advanced real-time alerts.

“Industry-leading technology allows innovators in payments to rapidly launch solutions that meet the ever-evolving needs of today’s consumers. At the heart of successful innovation and growth in payments are ideas that take the industry in new directions. A flexible technology infrastructure to support new business models and strong partnerships are key factors in the payments ecosystem. We are proud to team-up with Wirex to launch a unique card product that offers convenience, security, and a great user experience.” –  said Joe DeRosa, i2c’s EVP of Global Sales and Marketing. 

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Wirex Introduce IBANs | Crypto Payment Becoming More Traditional?

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Wirex, a leading cryptocurrency, and traditional currency payment platform has added International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) to Euro accounts for users in Spain and France in a trial before they are rolled out across the rest of Europe. In response to customer demands, the company has also announced it will be doubling deposit amounts, making them some of the highest deposit limits in the industry.

The announced changes follow an FCA eMoney license being granted to Wirex in August and indicate that – in an increasingly competitive space – the company’s remit is expanding as it looks to consolidate its place at the top of the industry.

First adopted by the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS), IBANs are now used by some 69 countries globally to facilitate and fulfill international remittances. Adding IBANs to Wirex accounts will allow the service to be used for bills and direct debit payments, helping users transact similarly to how they would with their bank account. 

“Following collaboration with our financial partners, we have been able to expand our payment offering,” explains Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev. “We want to improve the Wirex experience for all users whilst continuing to bridge the gap between our service and conventional finance platforms.”

The increased amount limits are already being rolled out across the wider European Economic Area. Wirex users can now fund their accounts with up to £15,000, €16,000 and $20,000 respectively.

Co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev added that these recent changes are evidence of Wirex moving to become a “smarter alternative to traditional banking” and that they are continuously taking steps to provide “a more streamlined and well-rounded service.”

By continually listening to its customers and by offering painless, near-instant exchange from cryptocurrencies to fiat money – and vice versa – Wirex has gained the confidence of a vast user base of over one million users. Adding IBANs is a big step toward creating a service that can be depended on for use as an everyday method of payment and signals Wirex’s commitment to providing its customers with a robust, streamlined alternative to standard banking.

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