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December 22, 2020

Wirex becomes Visa principal member ahead of crypto card launch

By Robert Scammell

London-headquartered fintech Wirex has become a principal member of Visa in Europe, a key step ahead of its new multicurrency card launch that will allow purchases using cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies.

Visa principal membership will allow Wirex to issue its own Visa payment cards, offer new products and apply for additional licences.

It follows Wirex’s completion of Visa’s FinTech Fast Track Programme, an initiative to help financial technology startups accelerate their growth.

The digital payments platform launched the first crypto-enabled payment card in 2014 after partnering with Visa. The crypto card lets customers spend up to 20 traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies at over 61 million locations globally.

In July this year, Wirex became a Mastercard principal member.

Both the Visa and Mastercard partnerships mark notable milestones for the company’s goal of broadening the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

It comes as the price of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has rallied to record highs. As of Tuesday afternoon, one Bitcoin is worth $23,269.

This year, Wirex said it has seen a 271% year-over-year increase in the number of crypto exchanges on its platform.

“It’s been our core goal to unite the traditional and digital economies, and collaborations with trusted global payments companies such as Visa are making this possible by providing straight and cost-effective solutions for utilising crypto in the everyday,” Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex.

“It’s no easy feat to achieve principal membership, and will present numerous opportunities to continue developing a revolutionary product.”

Launched in 2014, Wirex now has more than three million users across the EEA and APAC regions.

“Digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places,” said Cuy Sheffield, senior director and head of cryptocurrency at Visa.

“We’re excited to work with innovative Fintech’s like Wirex, and enable their customers to use digital currencies at more than 61 million merchants on the Visa network.”

Read more: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches blockchain company Efforce