Coinbase Card, a debit card that can be used to spend a holder’s cryptocurrency balance on the exchange without having to move funds to a bank account, will soon be launching in the US after receiving the necessary regulatory sign-offs.
Launched in April 2019, the card was initially available in the UK and steadily expanded to other European markets, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Liechtenstein and Romania.
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Integrating with Google Pay allows the card to be used immediately prior to the arrival of the physical card and also enables contactless, Chip and PIN payments, and ATM withdrawals.
“Eligible customers can apply via the Coinbase app or on the web. The first customers will be approved this winter. Once customers are approved, they can spend with a virtual card right away and will receive a physical card in the mail within two weeks,” Coinbase said.
Whenever a cardholder makes a payment, Coinbase Card instantly converts cryptocurrencies into other fiat currencies and automatically deducts all expenses and commissions, which is yet to be disclosed.
To celebrate the launch, Coinbase rolled out its Visa card to users in the US with competitive cashback rates. The exchange is offering up to four percent cashback from purchases with the card. Customers can opt to earn four percent back in Stellar Lumens (XLM) or one percent back in Bitcoin (BTC).
Coinbase debit card works just the same as any other bank card, except it is not linked to a mobile banking app, but a crypto wallet.
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Coinbase lets clients top-up their card with stablecoins like USD Coin or other cryptocurrencies and then convert their crypto holdings to fiat within seconds, which can be spent at over 46 million Visa merchants worldwide.
Coinbase already allows its users in nearly 40 countries to convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat and ‘instantly’ withdraw cash from their accounts. The feature is available through integrating Visa and Mastercard platforms that enable near real-time payments, with the funds reaching the recipient’s account within 30 minutes.
Backed by two of the major card schemes, the service is available in the US, UK, and more across Europe. Instant withdrawals are available for US customers at a 1.5% fee (minimum $0.55) while Coinbase users in the UK and EU pay a fee of up to 2%.
Coinbase was the first crypto firm to obtain Visa’s principal membership status. This helps Coinbase, which is valued at an eye-watering $8 billion, to cut out the middleman costs and intricacies when it issues branded debit cards that enable users to spend their cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted.