Wirex has announced the issuance of a new crypto Visa card in Australia through a partnership with Novatti.
Wirex was the first company to issue a cryptocurrency-powered Visa card, and now its services are used by more than 5 million customers worldwide. The card supports 12 fiat currencies and more than 130 cryptocurrencies, which can be spent in 80 million locations worldwide through the Visa network.
Recently, among the supported stablecoins, they have added True AUD (TAUD), which is a stablecoin pegged to the value of the Australian dollar, and this has led the way for the local market.
Wirex in Australia with a new Visa crypto card
Thanks to a close partnership with card issuer Novatti, Wirex will now also be able to issue crypto cards dedicated to Australians, potentially usable by more than 20 million people. All users will still be required to pass KYC checks and AML requirements.
The APAC (Asia-Pacific) region is currently the fastest growing region for Wirex, thanks to one of the highest levels of crypto adoption in the world, and so Australia has become an important market for Wirex.
Wirex is a global digital payment platform that was established back in 2015, while Novatti is one of Australia’s leading fintechs that also has a limited authorized depository institution license.
Wirex’s Managing Director for APAC, Svyatoslav Garal, said:
“As we grow our operations in Australia, we’ve strategically chosen to partner with a trusted Australian headquartered company, Novatti, to issue cards. Being able to expand our product offerings will enable more users to continue taking advantage of the benefits of forward-thinking payments.”
Novatti’s Executive General Manager Payments, Mark Healy, added:
“Working with a leading payments provider like Wirex showcases Novatti’s expertise in card issuing and provides opportunities to co-create innovative solutions together. With interest in alternative payments on the rise in Australia, we are excited to partner with Wirex to make their ambitions a reality.”
Visa crypto cards
Visa crypto debit cards are ordinary payment cards that operate on Visa’s vast worldwide network, but they have the special feature that they can also be powered in cryptocurrency.
Thus these are not classic debit cards that can be topped up in fiat currencies, but are special cards issued by operators that also allow them to be topped up in crypto.
Running on the Visa network they allow payments in traditional fiat currencies, though since they have a crypto issuer behind them, it is not necessary to feed them solely and exclusively in fiat currencies.
It is worth mentioning that these are debit cards, not credit cards, meaning that in order to make payments they must first be topped up with the fiat currency with which one wishes to pay.
Usually in these cases it is the user himself who tops them up with fiat currency, while in the specific case of crypto cards the user can top them up using cryptocurrencies.
The process is very simple: instead of sending fiat currency to the account on which the debit card is backed, the user sends his own cryptocurrencies to the card issuer, who converts them into fiat currency at the market exchange rates at that time and thus proceeds to reload the debit card with the fiat currency thus obtained.
In other words, these are normal debit cards that also have a crypto service issuer behind them that takes it upon itself to convert the user’s cryptocurrencies into fiat currency with which to top up the account.
In some cases such conversion is immediate and automatic, but this often involves inconvenient exchange rates or not-so-small spreads.
If the user himself converts cryptocurrencies into fiat currency in advance, the conversion can take place at more convenient exchange rates, and perhaps even with narrower spreads. In that case, however, it is then up to the user to send the fiat currency to the card account.