Regardless of how slow the mainstream movement has seemed lately, there are, nonetheless, emerging solutions looking to bridge the gap between the crypto world and conventional establishments. One of such is crypto debit cards. Owing to their growing popularity, we have chosen to explore the core functionalities of crypto debit cards and highlight some of the crypto fintech firms providing related service to crypto practitioners. Also, we will introduce you to some of the integral factors to look out for when choosing a crypto debit card.
What Is A Cryptocurrency Plastic Card?
A crypto plastic card has similar functions with conventional bank cards, albeit with a special affinity for cryptocurrencies. In other words, crypto plastic cards are essential tools for making payments at retail stores or e-commerce websites. They look just like traditional debit or credit cards. While this is a given, crypto plastic cards facilitate crypto payments, as they offer a swifter way to make payments with cryptocurrencies, and it does not matter if the retailer accepts crypto or not.
This assertion stems from the fact that crypto plastic cards exchange cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies before facilitating payments. Hence, users do not need to go through the long process of executing crypto-to-fiat exchanges on trading platforms before eventually paying for services and products with fiat money. They only need to adopt a system that seamlessly deducts your crypto balance and pays merchants the deducted value of coins in fiat currency. Note that card providers charge service fees whenever you use their cards.
Note that a large percentage of crypto debit card providers operating today offer multi-coin payment infrastructure, which allows users to pay for services and products with a variety of coins. That said, it is up to the provider to pick the preferred combination of cryptocurrencies to offer users. And in most cases, they stick to popular coins and offer BTC card services, as opposed to adopting lesser-known coins. Moreover, crypto card providers are majorly established crypto entities diversifying their businesses to include payment solutions. In other words, wallet providers often dabble into the crypto plastic card market. The same is true for fintech firms looking to capitalize on the growing appeal of crypto in the mainstream world.
There are two variations of crypto cards, and they are as follows:
Crypto Prepaid Cards
These are older variations of cryptocurrency plastic cards, as they entail users to pay card providers an amount of cryptocurrency to access a Visa/Mastercard loaded with an equivalent amount of traditional money. Once you set this up, you can use the card just as you would a normal bank card. As earlier stated, this model is somewhat obsolete, considering it requires you trust that the card provider’s manual exchange system for volatile assets is credible. You will agree that it is a tad difficult to predict the price swings of crypto, which might prove challenging for providers who adopt a model where they have to load debit cards with the fiat equivalence of the clients’ crypto deposit.
Crypto Debit Cards
Crypto debit cards are currently the widely-used variation. Like the crypto prepaid cards, users would have to deposit their cryptocurrencies with the provider. However, this is done via a web app, which makes the process a lot easier. Besides, a crypto debit card provider does not exchange cryptocurrency to fiat ahead of when it is needed. Instead, these providers opt to incorporate an instant exchange system that activates instant exchange whenever the card is in use. Hence, crypto to fiat exchanges take effect at the exact moment the user executes a payment order. Needless to say, this model bypasses the challenges of crypto debit cards relating to price tracking and accurate valuation of assets. And, they offer a swifter and more accurate crypto to fiat exchange.
Why Are Crypto Debit Cards Not Yet as Huge as They Should?
Crypto debit cards are yet to break glass ceilings because a majority of cryptocurrencies are still battling scalability and expensive transaction fees. Take bitcoin as a case study. It takes an average of 10 minutes for the bitcoin network to verify transactions, which defeats the essence of utilizing a bitcoin debit card. Also, transaction fees tend to skyrocket whenever there is network congestion, which also hurts transaction speed. While there are cryptocurrencies that boast impressive transaction speed, a majority of these assets, nonetheless, do not have market capitalizations that come close to what those with scalability issues have. In light of this, there are still limitations that cryptocurrency card providers, and crypto networks as a whole, must resolve before crypto debit cards can attain mainstream adoption.
How Easy It Is to Get A Crypto Debit Card?
From what we have witnessed so far, we can conclude that crypto debit cards are readily available and easy to adopt. You can simply search the web to access the list of crypto debit card providers operating in the crypto industry. Nevertheless, it is advisable to carry out due diligence before trusting your funds with debit card wallets. This assertion stems from the fact that crypto debit cards are new technologies finding their footings in a nascent market. Therefore, it is imperative to consider integral details that would help you ascertain the efficacy of card providers.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Choosing A Crypto Debit Card?
As mentioned earlier, some factors could help you pick the crypto debit card that best suits you. In this section, we will highlight some of the integral ones that you ought to consider before reaching a decision.
The Supported Jurisdiction
Crypto regulation is still a dicey topic in a lot of regions. Therefore, the onus falls on you to determine the status of cryptocurrency in your location before deciding on owning or spending crypto. For people living in countries where legislators are yet to legalize crypto activities, the chances of finding a crypto debit card provider willing to cater to their jurisdictions are slim. And even if they do, circumventing regulations to utilize crypto cards might come back to hurt them.
On the other hand, people living in crypto-friendly nations ought to do some digging as regards the card provider’s penchants for remaining compliant to defined crypto regulations. Besides, since these entities bridge the crypto and fiat money economy, they also have to comply with regulations governing traditional financial institutions. Owing to the regulatory obligations of running a legal crypto debit card facility, it is, therefore, common for credible providers to restrict their services to countries or regions where they have successfully scaled regulatory requirements. Hence, you ought to unravel details relating to the supported jurisdiction of a card provider before opting for it.
The Ease of Use
The goal is to someday have access to seamless crypto debit card services that could compete with traditional bank cards, in terms of ease of use, or even surpass conventional standards. Until then, you should ensure that the services of the crypto credit card provider under consideration is as straightforward as possible. Note that your crypto debit card account is linked to an exchange, so it is advisable to research the processes undertaken in the background, the speed of these processes, and how it contributes to your experience. All these factors are noteworthy and would determine whether you would enjoy utilizing the debit card or might eventually stop using it out of frustration.
The Security Status of The Crypto Debit Card
Security is one factor that you shouldn’t take lightly, especially when the issue at hand involves your crypto holdings. As such, we suggest that you ascertain that the crypto debit cards under review have standard security measures, which will shield your details and assets from nefarious entities. Here, you should emphasize on two-factor verification system, site encryption, and email alerts. You should sideline a crypto card service that does not have the infrastructure in place to facilitate these security requirements. Also, it is advantageous to opt for providers who have partnered with market leaders like Mastercard and Visa. Note that service integration allows users to access topnotch security protocols found in established card services like 3D Secure. For instance, a Visa cryptocurrency card comes with all the security perks alluded to Visa cards.
The Credibility of The Crypto Debit Card Service
Although crypto debit card services are new concepts, there are, however, several factors that can help you determine the longevity and credibility of a crypto debit card service. First, you should gauge the provider’s experience in the crypto fintech space and its proactiveness in the crypto space. Likewise, you should check that the company has done enough to ensure compliance and is working closely with regulators to guarantee the safety of their users. There is an aura of credibility linked to crypto debit card providers that have sealed collaborative projects with mainstream market leaders. The same is true for services with impressive feedback mechanisms and top-notch customer support.
Service Fees and Transaction Limits
Recall that we mentioned earlier in this guide that crypto debit card providers deduct service charges on all crypto transactions. As such, you should analyze the fee structure of the card provider under review before going all out to register for its services. Ensure that the service offers a competitive price rate, unrestrictive fees structure, and flexible transaction limits. You can do this by researching the price framework of other card providers and comparing them with the one you at the verge of adopting.
Additional Features Available to Users
There are various ways you can use a crypto debit card. You could use them to make atm withdrawals, online and offline purchase, or facilitate fund transfer. Regardless of the card you eventually choose, ensure that it offers these core functions. Other features that you should look out for are foreign exchange, instant remittance service, and multi-coin support. For example, a bitcoin debit card could also function as a bitcoin atm card, which bodes well for individuals searching for services that offer a broad array of crypto card services.
The Incentives Offered to Users
Since the crypto debit card terrain is very much competitive, it is, therefore, common to encounter services that offer incentives to users. Debit card providers, which are keen on attracting new users and expanding their customer base, often adopt incentive programs. Hence, they provide cashback rewards, referral programs, and discounts. Needless to say, rewards are almost always impossible to decline. However, we advise that you do not forego the quality of the service rendered for a chance of earning freebies.
How Did Cryptolinks Compile Its List of The Best Crypto Debit Card Providers Operating in The Industry?
Knowing fully well that the successes of crypto cards have adversely affected the push for mainstream adoption, we have, therefore, chosen to extensively research the niche and provide the resources you will need to choose the best cryptocurrency debit card. To do this, we adopted an organic research methodology while using the above-mentioned recommendations as our guide.
In light of this, we explored the jurisdiction that each crypto card provider support and how well it has gone about ensuring full compliance with existing regulations. Thereafter, we examined how easy it is for users to navigate their features and functions. We expect crypto debit card providers to offer infrastructures and protocols that sidestep the challenges associated with crypto payments in an innovative manner. Also, we tested each card provider for credibility. Here, we used information, ranging from customer support culture to service integration, as the template to score the platforms under review.
Next, we assessed the security measures accessible on each credit card facilitator as well as the security history. Then, we compared the policy of the debit card providers listed and gauged its flexibility as regards competitive price frameworks and restrictions. The platforms’ customer rewarding system also came under the spotlight, and we explored the core and added features of each.
In the end, we found 9 crypto debit card services that met our criteria and deserve a mention on our website. We suggest that you make the effort to research each platform with the help of our unbiased review articles.