Visa suspends multiple cryptocurrency debit card providers
Bitwala, Crytopay, TenX and Wirex prepaid Visa debit cards are canceled but funds are still accessible.
A number of prepaid cryptocurrency debit card providers have had their services suspended by Visa.
Bitwala, Crytopay, TenX and Wirex were affected. TNW published a statement from Visa Europe confirming it had terminated its partnership with WaveCrest Holdings, a global payment solutions company, after it had failed to comply with Visa’s operating rules. WaveCrest is the issuing partner for the affected parties.
Affected operators provided individuals with cryptocurrency prepaid visa debit cards which they could use to withdraw fiat currency from cash machines or make everyday purchases. The companies all reported receiving emails from WaveCrest informing them that they had to cancel all WaveCrest debit cards effective immediately.
Below are recent social media posts from the operators, notifying users of the transpiring card cancellations.
Following an announcement from our card issuer on behalf of Visa Europe, Bitwala cards are taken out of operation starting today. Our team is holding an emergency meeting to resolve the issue with the card holders best interest in mind and will make an update shortly.
— Bitwala (@bitwala) January 5, 2018
Unfortunately, our card issuer instructed us to cease all Cryptopay prepaid cards starting January 5th, 2018. All funds stored on cards are safe and will be returned to your Cryptopay accounts ASAP. Sorry for all the inconvenience caused, we’re working on the solution!
— Cryptopay (@cryptopay) January 5, 2018
#TenX advisory: Following an urgent communication from our card issuer WaveCrest, payments on the TenX card will be unavailable. We are working on a solution and will let you know further details as soon as we have them. We apologise for the inconvenience.
— TenX (@tenxwallet) January 5, 2018
Following an urgent communication from our card issuer WaveCrest, VISA card operations are no longer available. We have a new card issuer, with new cards available very soon. Customer funds will be transferred back from prepaid VISA accounts. (1/2)
— Wirex (@wirexapp) January 5, 2018
The email communication reportedly warns that any WaveCrest-issued Visa cards will no longer function. However, funds were stored in customer’s e-wallets, so they’ll remain accessible via the digital wallet provider.
WaveCrest held a substantial proportion of the market share for prepaid cryptocurrency debit cards, therefore Visa’s actions will likely affect a large number of customers who rely on these cards for everyday expenses.
Visa said that it has other approved card programmes that use fiat funds converted from cryptocurrency in a number of jurisdictions and that WaveCrest’s membership termination does not affect these other products.
Monaco, a crypto card provider who has an agreement with Visa, confirmed its customers wouldn’t be affected.
While Visa has not specified how WaveCrest infringed upon its operating rules, it’s interesting to note that WaveCrest is based in Gibraltar. New regulations implemented by the local government, which came into effect January 1, require distributed ledger technology (DLT) providers to apply for and obtain a special license.
Expanding into digital currencies and related technologies is helping to boost a wide range of businesses. For example, Chanticleer Holdings, whose brands include Little Big Burger and a few Hooters restaurants, saw its stock rise 50% after the company reported plans to implement a new cryptocurrency customer loyalty scheme.