- The debit card is available in over 130 countries.
- The mobile apps are high quality.
- The site’s security system appears top notch.
- It offers free worldwide shipping.
- Shipping of the physical card is very slow.
- Some of the mooted features are not available.
- Verification can take up to 10 days in some cases.
- Not available in the United States
With the growth of the cryptocurrency market, the race is on to provide the best service when it comes to combining digital money with traditional banking services. One of the most important innovations is the creation of a ‘digital card’ that works just like a traditional ATM card. Wirex is one of the many companies who offer this service and more; read on to discover if they are trustworthy or if you should avoid at all costs.
Who is Wirex?
Oddly enough, when we went to the ‘Our Team’ section of the official website, we found it blank! What we do know is that Wirex used to be called E-Coin and was founded by Pavel Matveev, Dmitry Lazarichev, and Georgy Sokolv sometime towards the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015 after raising $200,000 in a crowdfunding venture.
It was rebranded and called Wirex in February 2016 and is based in London. Given the lack of information on the site and the change in name, we have no idea if the three original founders are still involved.
Like its competitors in the niche, Wirex helps you link your Bitcoin wallet to MasterCard and Visa debit cards. It supports the usual three currencies (GBP, USD, and EUR) and you can access it via a mobile app or desktop.
Wirex offers three main services. To avail of them, you have to register to open a free account. It doesn’t take long to sign up as it involves filling in a registration form. Once completed, confirm your email address and your mobile phone number. We found the phone verification process to be a pain as we got an error message several times. Wirex didn’t explain why the message kept appearing.
Wirex delivers its card to 130 countries around the world; the downside is that cards take up to 3 weeks to arrive if you’re in the EU and 8 weeks for the rest of the world; that is much slower than many of its rivals. The digital card is available almost immediately, and you can use it online.
The beauty of the process is that you can spend your Bitcoins like a debit card. You can also fund the card at any time by converting Bitcoin or by adding USD, EUR or GBP to your account. It is easily transferred from your bank or via numerous online payment methods.
At the time of writing, it is a fairly limited service insofar as it only allows Wirex to Wirex use since support for cards and third-party payments is unavailable.
You can send money to a contact through the Wirex dashboard or mobile app. If the recipient also has a Wirex account, they get the money instantly. If they don’t have an account, they receive an email from Wirex urging them to set one up.
You can also purchase Bitcoin from the site via bank transfer or debit card. Simply transfer funds to your Wirex account and exchange the funds for Bitcoin using your online account or mobile app.
Here are some screenshots of the Wirex fee structure:
Their list of limits is rather long, and you can see it in full at WireX
What is WireX Like to Use?
The account interface is very simple to navigate, and you will see your balance on the left-hand side of the screen. You will be asked to verify your account; this is entirely your decision but bear in mind that unverified users receive limited features. As you would expect, you must provide proof of ID and address.
Wirex guarantees reliable account security as it has a partnership with BitGo to ensure all accounts are secured. If you have a bank account with Barclays, you will be familiar with the chip and PIN process.
Wirex is certainly one of the better options out there if you’re in the market for a Bitcoin debit card. It is laden with features in theory, but in practice, some of them are unavailable at present which is disappointing. We have heard rumours that Wirex ‘stole’ customer money during the Bitcoin fork but this information came from a disgruntled customer so who knows?