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Wirex.com Debit Card Review

Wirex.com Debit Card Review

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Wirex bitcoin debit cardWirex – previously known as E-coin – combines digital money with traditional banking services. The worldwide issued bitcoin debit card enables cheap money transfer anytime, anywhere. The Wirex card works just like a normal debit card but it offers much more due to the flexibility and opportunities provided by the bitcoin blockchain technology. A card for the traveler, for the bitcoin freelancer and for anyone who wants who wants to be on the top of their finances in the digital world.

About Wirex

The team of Wirex is currently working on a rebranding. The platform was previously running under the site E-coin.io. The London based firm has been established in the end of 2014. The rebranding of the company started in February 2016. The old website is still running but directing the traffic to wirexapp.com.

E-coin rebranding to WirexThe Wirex founders have a diverse professional background. Pavel Matveev has been working as a IT developer for the last ten years. He had high level IT projects at various noted investment banks around the globe. Dmitry Lazarichev has multiple interest in finance and entrepreneur projects. Starting in Russia, he worked for Solid providing consulting services, then later moving to the UK to found his own business importing wood biomass. Georgy Sokolov is a sales person with international experience in US and Europe. Before funding E-coin he has been working for the largest Russian cargo airline.

After founding the company in 2014, it only took the guys four months to build and launch the working E-coin platform from scratches. Two years later, the business is now going through a rebranding and continues its success under the name, Wirex.

Wirex on Social Media:

 Features of the Wirex card

Services provided

Wirex issues two types of bitcoin backed debit card. One opportunity to choose is a Mastercard with pin and chip, the other one is a virtual VISA card. Behind the cards, users can opt to elect the base currency from USD, EUR and GBP. The cards are accepted everywhere on the world where Mastercard and VISA cards are supported -– this is basically covering 99% of the debit card acceptance market, including millions of ATMs and retailers both online and offline.

The company delivers the plastic cards to 130 countries worldwide. With the standard delivery it takes 3 weeks for the card to arrive in EU and up to 8 weeks in the rest of the world. The standard shipping is free. Users may choose the expedite delivery option for an additional 33 USD fee in order to receive the bitcoin debit cards faster. In this case shipping only takes a few days in the EU and 7-10 days into other countries outside of Europe. Although Wirex serves users in 100+ countries, the services are not available for US citizens, nor in India, neither in many Arabic countries due to legislation issues.

The Wirex Card

The conversion between bitcoin and the base currency only takes a simple touch in the app that is available in both Google Play for Android users and in the App Store for iOS users. Two factor authentication is used in order to maintain high security: beside the user given password, a unique special code generated by an authentication app, installed on the smartphone secures the funds on the Wirex accounts.

With Wirex, users can buy bitcoins directly with bank transfers. For an extra fee, Wirex also lets users load the balances with alternative payment service providers and with PayPal too. Due to the instant notifications available in the app, users can track the money while they are on the go – no need to pay attention to bank’s opening hours or wait for the transfers to happen. Bitcoin transfer with the blockchain technology allow instantaneous money transfer service.

Fees and Pricing Schedule

The Wirex bitcoin debit card cost 17 USD , virtual card costs 3 USD at issuance and there is an additional 1 USD monthly fee. When loading the card, Wirex charges 3 USD or 2.75 EUR or 2 GBP for direct bank transfers at each occasion. Beside the traditional payment method, users may also transfers funds to the account with alternative payment service providers for a fee about 2-3% (minimum fees applies).

Wirex AppThe limits of loading the account are depending on the source of the funds. Verified users can top up Wirex accounts max. 5 times a day, with a min. 10 USD – max. 2500 USD fund per single transaction from bitcoin account. However other transfer methods have lower limits: via traditional bank accounts and alternative payment service providers only 2 transactions per day are allowed, with a load of max. 5000 USD per day for the bank transfers and only 500 USD for the alternatives.

Users may purchase unlimited amount online and offline through POS terminals. Two ATM withdrawals are permitted daily with a maximum amount of 2000 USD. Although, there is no limit on withdrawing funds during the lifetime of the card.

In order to verify the user account, Wirex requires different documents as Proof of Identity and as Proof of Residence. The IDs must contain the full name, date of birth, a photo of the user and an expiration date. For proving residence only those documents are accepted that are newer than 3 months. Any bills or bank/tax statements can be submitted which shows the user’s current address. Documents must be in English, or a translation must be attached to them. The identity verification is done by the bank and can take up to 3 business days.

For keeping anonymity or until the verification process is approved, the services can be used without verification. However in this case many functions of Wirex accounts are limited. Starting from 10th December 2017, Unverified users are only allowed withdrawals in a maximum amount of $100/€100/£80, as combined limits for all cards issued within an account. The will be a maximum cumulative load limit for unverified accounts of $250/€250/£200.

The total amount of ATM withdrawals is also limited to 2500 USD during the lifetime of the debit cards.

When traveling and using Wirex card, a 3% foreign currency transaction fee is charged if the base currency is not the same as the currency of the transaction.

The bitcoin prices used for conversions are currently not available on Wirex’s website. On E-coin the bitcoin mid price seems reasonable, although bid-offers are not shown.

Wirex User Experience

Wirexapp.com has a professional teal color with a minimal design. The service is available on smartphones for both Android and iOS users.

FAQThe website provides decent information on the available bitcoin debit cards. The FAQ answers most of the questions users may have and they also provide other means of contacting possibilities, like Facebook or a contact form. A ticket system is build into the Wirex App, that ease the customer support processes.

Although many information is detailed on the site, some key data, like the bictoin conversion prices are missing. E-coin platform starts directly with the current bitcoin price, so it is interesting why they left this out after the rebranding.

Customers have a very good feedback on Wirex. They elevate the support system that works 24/7, the pricing schedule that is just about average, and that both Mastercard and VISA are supported. The best part is the app that is very handy for frequent travelers. Clients only had complaints on the delivery times of the cards that is longer than at competitors and that US citizens are excluded from the services. No scam report has been issued about the company neither under the name Wirex, nor under the name E-coin.

Wirex smartphone app

Overall Conclusion

Wirex, previously E-coin provides VISA and Mastercard supported bitcoin debit cards. The associated smartphone app makes the user experience a great pleasure while still maintaining the pricing schedule at a decent level.

Pros:

  • Android and iOS apps
  • all major currencies supported: USD, EUR, GBP
  • free worldwide shipping

Cons:

  • long verification time: 7-10 working days
  • information is missing on wirexapp.com: bitcoin prices and company owners are not available at wirexapp.com, only at e-coin.io
  • US citizens excluded
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