Wirex Ditches Visa Debit Card for Mastercard

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  • Wirex has joined the exodus from Visa to Mastercard for their cryptocurrency debit cards
  • The company has become a “principal member” of Mastercard
  • Wirex joins Bitpay and Bitwala in making the move from Visa

Wirex has announced that it has become the world’s first “cryptocurrency-native” principal member of Mastercard, which will see the company swap Visa debit cards for those of their competitor. The change makes Wirex the third cryptocurrency debit card provider to make the move from Visa to Mastercard following Bitpay and Bitwala, although they are the only one of the trio to gain ‘principal member’ status.

The news comes just weeks after many crypto debit cards were affected by the collapse of Wirecard, the company whose subsidiary provides Visa debit cards to the likes of Crypto.com, TenX, and Cryptopay.

Wirex Says Mastercard Deal Will Improve Services

Wirex announced the move yesterday, stating that being a principal member of Mastercard will enable them to issue payment cards directly and will offer customers “even more convenience, reduced costs and faster transactions”.

Wirex currently serves three million customers across 130 countries and was the first in the world to offer a contactless cryptocurrency debit card. Wirex also introduced the concept of a cryptocurrency rewards program, Cryptoback™, which automatically gives customers up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin for every in-store purchase made.

Switch to Mastercard Reflects Growing Trend

Visa cryptocurrency debit cards have had something of a checkered past, most notably in 2018 when Visa cancelled its deal with Wavecrest, the company that was at the time providing the bulk of the crypto debit cards, rendering them useless overnight.

A similar situation was feared last month when Wirecard went under, but the fact that many crypto-handling companies, including Bitwala, Bitpay, and Revolut, had already switched provider limited the fallout, while those still relying on Wirecard Card Services, including Wirex, only endured a temporary halt to their services.