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Visa and Coinbase team up to create crypto-backed debit card

In another example the financial services industry converging fiat and digital currency, Visa today announced a debit card that will allow users to buy things using fiat money converted from cryptocurrency stored in online wallets.

The new Coinbase Card it is directly tied to the a person’s cryptocurrency balance in digital wallets managed by the eponymous digital currency exchange.

Coinbase enables the trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP and Litecoin, all of which will also be spendable through the new debit card.

coinbase visa cryptocurrency bitcoin Coinbase

Visa, one of the world’s largest payment processors, said the Coinbase Card will allows users to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank” and make cash withdrawals from any ATM. The cryptocurrency will initially be converted into British pounds, Euros or U.S. dollars.

“Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world, making payments through contactless, Chip and PIN,” Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroze wrote in a blog post on Medium. “When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency.”

An Coinbase Card mobile app will allow consumers to see spending summaries, transaction receipts, and get instant notifications.

Visa brings with it not only its enormous merchant base but world-class security, which includes two-step verification and the ability for users to instantly freeze their card if it’s lost or stolen.

“This is big news. I think a lot of companies have failed to try to do with [Visa and Coinbase are] trying to do, so it’s not clear it’s going to succeed,” said Gartner vice president of research Avivah Litan. “I think it’s fascinating Visa signed up for this. It’s really good news because they have the scalability to make it succeed with merchant reach, their network, their fraud analytics.”

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