Crypto App, ZenGo, Joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program; Debit Card Launching in 2021

  • ZenGo, a crypto wallet app, joins Visa Fast Track program.
  • Allow users to spend crypto at any VISA merchant and withdraw from supported ATMs.

Crypto wallet management firm, ZenGo, announced that it had joined the VISA Fast Track Program on Tuesday. Following the partnership, ZenGo will start offering users in the U.S. VISA debit cards, allowing them to spend cryptocurrencies at millions of VISA merchants and withdraw at supported ATMs.

The crypto wallet provider is joining a stream of payment companies, including PayPal, Square, Coinbase, and Paxful, aiming to push for cryptocurrencies in everyday payments. The company enters the debit card space – joining Coinbase, who recently announced their rewards card, and Binance – in a race to push for crypto adoption.

Unlike the rest, ZenGo offers its users a non-custodial wallet, which leaves the user’s security. Expounding on the benefits of ZenGo’s non-custodial wallets, ZenGo CEO Ouriel Ohayon said,

“Those other offerings are only a half-vanilla taste of what crypto is because they only let you own an IOU over a cryptocurrency.

This is the only one that is tied to a user-controlled wallet where the users have control of their funds, and the funds are on-chain.”

However, the enhanced self-custodial measures make it difficult and complicated to send and spend cryptocurrencies from your wallet, hence the VISA wallet’s launch. ZenGo users will need to convert crypto from their wallet and deposit to their debit card before using it for payment. Regular users can also set a fixed amount to be converted every week and deposited to their debit card.

“The issue if you do it automatically like Coinbase is that you can’t pick which crypto you want to use for spending,” Ohayon said.

“They decide for you, or they force you to make a choice once for all your transactions.”

ZenGo uses Multi-party computation (MPC) techniques to secure its user’s accounts, passwords, and private keys by breaking down the long alphanumeric cryptographic code. This also helps in transactions – saving senders from writing down the long wallet address or remember passwords.

The VISA debit card by ZenGo is expected to launch early next year in the U.S. with plans to launch to other countries also in place. ZenGo aims to offer users a convenient, secure, and scalable way to spend cryptocurrencies seamlessly. Ouriel added,

“We have real estate agents who get paid in cryptocurrency; we have photographers, DJs, independent workers of all sorts. Those guys want to be able to spend it.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Now Allows Instant WIthdrawals via Mastercard & Visa Debit Card

San Francisco-based Coinbase is now allowing instant cash withdrawal through Mastercard and Visa debit cards.

“Don’t wait days for your cash when you need it now,” it says.

In a move towards the defining characteristics of crypto, transacting instantly, and anywhere, anytime that is curbed by the traditional banking system, Coinbase is offering instant withdrawals in about 40 countries.

These instant withdrawals will cost US customers a 1.5% fee (minimum $0.55), while for the UK and European customers, it is up to 2%.

Coinbase product manager Eddie Lo shared that customers in the US, UK, and Europe can withdraw funds with a linked Visa debit card with US customers allowed through Mastercard as well.

“The ability to easily spend, send, and receive crypto is critical to growing the cryptoeconomy, so we’ll continue building even more ways for our customers to access and use their crypto on Coinbase,” said Lo.

Using Visa to convert crypto balances into fiat means it can be spent at more than 60 million merchant locations while providing “faster, simpler and more connected experience” for Coinbase users, said Terry Angelos, SVP and global head of fintech, Visa.

Customers have the option to select between standard or instant withdrawal methods.

According to Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, today’s digitally driven consumers want real-time payment options, and Mastercard will help them achieve “greater flexibility and convenience” in converting their cryptocurrency into fiat currency.

Also Read: Coinbase Pro to Pass the Rising Network Fees Onto The Customer

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Binance Card Coming to the US Market as Swipe Partners with a Bank

Binance acquired a multi-asset digital wallet and Visa debit card platform; Swipe has partnered with Evolve Bank & Trust to tap the US market.

In the Q2 of 2020, the bank reported about $600k in total assets and a net income of $2,767.

Thanks to this partnership, the Philippines headquartered Swipe will be offering US Dollar checking accounts for its users in the US market that will be accessible via its application. This means users will be able to deposit their direct deposit paychecks into this account. Swipe CEO, Joselito Lizarondo said,

“Partnering with Evolve Bank & Trust gives Swipe the ability to offer a simplified banking experience while utilizing the user-friendly Swipe Wallet application. Users will have access to the same checking account features most brick-and-mortar banks provide, but without any fees.”

The accounts are FDIC insured, and users can use them to purchase and sell supported cryptocurrency via ACH and wire payment networks.

The service will be provided in the next quarter of 2020.

SXP didn’t react to the news as it trades at $2.96, down 3.95% in the past 24 hours. The token hit its all-time high at $4.98 a couple of weeks back.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Visa’s Fast Track Program On Boards New Bitcoin Lightning Payment Startup, LastBit

The Visa fast track program has onboarded a new Bitcoin Lightning crypto payment startup, LastBit, which recently launched its beta app. This addition comes barely a month since Strike also joined the Visa initiative to scale crypto adoption through Lightning BTC payment solutions.

Lastbit will enable merchants to accept BTC payments regardless of their preference since the underlying tech converts such transactions to fiat upon settlement. Currently, this BTC lightning-based innovation only allows merchants to receive their payments in U.S dollars. However, they are set to release an app that is Euro compatible in a few weeks, according to the company’s founder, Prashanth Balasubramanian.

LastBit’s BTC Lightning for Micropayments

Despite the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, mainstream adoption is still one of the most significant uncertain factors. Well, BTC lightning solutions, which came up as a result of network congestion, seem to be finding a niche in micropayment fiat-crypto on-ramps, given the convenience in rates and transaction time.

LastBit’s lighting payment, for instance, allows users to load BTC on their applications, after which they can access a digital debit card. With this card, they can then initiate BTC payments, which are received by vendors in dollars and soon Euros.  Balasubramanian has since noted that their goal is to facilitate the mass adoption of Bitcoin as a standard means of payment,

“We simply want to see the masses using bitcoin on a day-to-day basis. To do this, we have engineered arguably the most seamless interoperability between bitcoin and fiat, on top of the Lightning Network, that caters to the needs of both new and experienced users alike,”

Prospect Markets!

As the world continues to move towards digital ecosystems, crypto startups like Stripe and LastBit are looking to capitalize on the growing opportunities in various markets. On this front, LastBit is set to expand into Europe following approval from the EU. Balasubramanian confirmed this prospectus move with Coindesk, highlighting that;

“With a solid product, partnerships and notable investors […] behind us, we’re going to roll out our Bitcoin, Lightning, and EUR interoperable payments layer in the EU to prove that this works and that a small company without millions can pull off a complex payments product to push for Bitcoin adoption,”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Visa Seeks Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Blockchain DeVs Following Crypto Frenzy

Visa is looking to hire blockchain engineers with expertise on Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin, as recently reported by Decrypt. The global payments giant has been making significant moves in the blockchain and crypto space in preparation for digital currency ecosystems. With the latest step being an ‘alleged’ human resource expansion, could Visa scale its foothold in the blockchain-based payments niche?

This new prospective hire will join Visa’s B2B, the firm’s cross-border payments solution built on blockchain that launched back in June 2019. They will work towards adding value to this distributed ecosystem hence the requirements on some blockchain languages. The job ad highlights,

“Our ideal candidate has built and released distributed applications, has worked with the Ripple, R3, Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchain, and has experience with Solidity.”

While the requirements may signal an intention to build on a network like Ethereum, Visa is more likely to leverage the Hyperledger open-source instead. This Linux developed innovation presents ‘enterprise-grade’ solutions for corporate entities and received the backing of IBM and Intel soon after it launched in 2016. With the Hyperledger network, firms have an option to create permissioned ecosystems as a way of protecting private data while communicating within a distributed platform.

Visa’s Crypto and Blockchain Enthusiasm

This California-based payment service provider is emerging as a crypto favorite given recent milestones. For starters, the firm filed for a digital dollar patent in May as the rush for CBDC’s intensifies. According to Visa’s crypto head, the CBDC trend will probably set the stage for a digital currency ecosystem, making it essential for stakeholders to be involved in the research and development. Other than a digital dollar proposition, Visa has enabled some utilities within its cards for crypto service providers such as Binance and Plutus.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

DeFi Startup Eidoo Partners With Contis To Launch Visa Crypto Card For EU, and UK Users

Eidoo, a Swiss-based Defi startup has partnered with Europe’s principal Visa member Contis to offer Visa crypto debit cards in Europe and the United Kingdom.

The new Visa crypto debit card would support Bitcoin and Ethereum while utilizing regulated stablecoins to offer crypto-to-fiat conversion to negate the volatility factor associated with crypto assets. The card would also allow for the storage of fiat and, since it would be targeting the customers of the UK and Europe, the card would support pound and euro.

Eidoo got the nod from Visa for issuing crypto debit cards on May 25th, allowing for almost 40 million Visa merchants to accept crypto in the form of stablecoins and derived fiat currencies.

Contis, the principal European Visa member, played a key role in enabling the crypto debit card as it holds the e-money license. The firm would also be responsible for the issuance of these non-custodial crypto debit cards where the users would have complete control over there crypto assets, as these cards would be connected to non-custodial Eidoo wallets. Thomas Bertani, CEO of Eidoo, said:

“Everyone is anticipating the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, yet there are few solutions which make these digital currencies practical or useful in our daily lives. We know the key is to bring together the worlds of traditional and decentralized finance; the Eidoo Card is that bridge between these two worlds.”

How Would the Non-Custodial Crypto Debit Card Work?

The issuance of cards as well as crypto-to-fiat conversion would be handled by Contis, while Eidoo would look into offering decentralized wallet support.

While there are many crypto visa cards in the market, none are decentralized like the one being offered by Eidoo and Contis.

A user with their crypto-assets can convert it into a stablecoin using Defi exchanges such as Uniswap. The stablecoin obtained from the conversion of crypto can later be topped with a 1:1 exchange rate when the crypto card is used at a merchant’s shop.

The conversion of stablecoin would be facilitated by the likes of Moneyfold’s Ethereum-based stablecoins, Moneyfold Euro and Moneyfold GBP.

A user would be required to either stake or burn Eidoo’s native EDO token in order to pre-order the Eidoo crypto debit card. At present, a user is required to burn at least 100 EDO tokens or stake 2500 to pre-order the card. The firm is planning to ship the card orders in a phased manner, the first batch of which would be shipped this summer.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

Visa Files for a Centralized Digital Dollar Patent; Putting Fiat Currencies on Blockchain

Visa, a multinational payments service provider, has filed a patent to create a digital dollar based on blockchain tech with oversight from centralized computers. The US patent & Trademark office revealed the details of this application on May 14. However, Visa initially filed for the patent back in November 2019.

According to the publication, this idea is not solely based on the US dollar. Visa highlighted that the patent involves other currencies as well such that any central bank can smoothly transition to the digital form of its base currency. Dubbed the ‘Digital Fiat Currency’, it was filed in conjunction with inventors Alexander Pierre and Simon J. Hurry.

The Digital Dollar Technical Aspect

Visa has since mentioned the possibility of leveraging Ethereum’s blockchain for this development. The proposed infrastructure design encompasses two records meant to facilitate a transparent conversion from fiat to digital. One is tasked to ensure that a digital denomination has been created while the other records that a corresponding fiat amount is removed from circulation,

“…every time a dollar worth of digital fiat currency is generated, the central entity ensures that a corresponding physical dollar bill is removed from circulation, in order to regulate the value of the digital fiat currency.”

The application goes on to tout cryptocurrencies as a viable solution given the cost-friendly nature and immutability aspects embedded within blockchain ecosystems. However, Visa, did not maintain the fundamental nature of blockchain decentralization as per the application. In fact, it further suggests that the centralized entity approach could be the answer for implementing monetary policy in digital markets.

Following this approach, Visa’s patent was praised by the former chairman of US Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo. He noted that the patent is a major statement from both private and public stakeholders in the US,

“This confirms when the U.S. does big things like the space program and the Internet, there are partnerships between the private and public sector. This patent filing is evidence the private sector is very much at work on the future of money.”

Visa’s Recent Scaling in Blockchain and Crypto Activity

As the world navigates living with Covid-19, payment service providers have been on their toes to match the current needs. This has somewhat favored the crypto market which many were initially skeptical about. Visa’s latest milestone within this space is the inclusion of Coinbase as one of its principal members. This alliance has seen Coinbase pioneer debit cards for crypto spending with the help of Visa. The firm also runs a FinTech Fast Track Program supporting startups within this industry based on Visa’s resources.

Despite this success, the digital dollar patent does not guarantee a solution in monetary policy or regulatory oversight. A Visa spokesperson told Forbes that not every patent result in a new product but the firm strives to respect intellectual property,

“While not all patents will result in new products or features, Visa respects intellectual property and we are actively working to protect our ecosystem, our innovations and the Visa brand.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Swipe’s Crypto Visa Debit Cards Now Supported on Samsung Pay; A Month After Google Pay

Cryptocurrency payments platform Swipe has announced that it has teamed up Samsung for addition of its Visa debit card on Samsung Pay platform. The partnership will enable Samsung Pay users to easily make day-to-day payments directly from their Swipe Visa card via devices with Samsung Pay.

Swipe now boasts as the inaugural virtual wallet that offers global support for both Samsung Pay as well as Google Pay. The new service will allow Swipe debit cardholders in the European Union as well as in the United Kingdom to make crypto transactions at more than 50 million points in the world.

The new agreement between Samsung and Swipe was powered by a mutual issuing financial institution Contis Financial.

Swipe currently supports more than 30 currencies that comprise of stablecoins, cryptocurrencies as well as fiat. The deal means that Swipe debit cardholders will now be able to straightly exchange their cryptos into euros when using the Samsung Pay for transactions.

Swipe CEO Joselito Lizarondo expressed his gratitude for the partnership. Lizarondo told Bitcoin Exchange Guide that the integration as well as relationship with Samsung will enhance mass adoption of crypto and ease their use in day-to-day operations.

Swipe COO, John Khenneth, explained that there has been an increased number of people using other related payment platforms like Google Pay following the outbreak of COVID-19 crisis.

Khenneth explained that the new deal will help even as people are abandoning the use of fiat money and physical cards and Samsung Pay will help create a new channel.

Swipe is headquartered in the Philippines but has operations in Europe both in the United Kingdom as well as Estonia. Recently, the firm was granted approval to start operations in the United States and Lizarondo is optimistic about the future. The firm is also looking to offer its services in the Asia-Pacific and South Asia regions this year.

Following Swipe’s success, other players in the market like Binance as well as BTSE are planning to introduce their own debit cards to get a pie of the market.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple or No Ripple? TransferWise Joins Visa’s Real-Time Payment Solution for Global Remittances

  • The latest company to join Visa’s real-time payments platform Visa Direct that simplifies and drives costs down in the global remittance space is TransferWise.

The major money transfer service has joined the expanding partners’ list of Visa Direct that processed 2 billion transactions in 2019. The idea behind Visa Direct is to make sending money as “as easy as sending a text message.” Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of TransferWise said,

“TransferWise is on a mission to move money around the world in a cost efficient, quick and transparent way.”

“Integrating Visa Direct further eases the transfer process and brings us another step closer to achieving our mission.”

TransferWise will launch the Visa Direct-powered service in Spain, with plans to follow up in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania and then scale it throughout Europe and worldwide in 2020.

Visa Direct allows for safe, convenient, and real-time funds delivery to financial accounts via card credentials.

Unimpressed by Ripple’s Partner Network

About a year back, TransferWise indicated excitement over the growth of Ripple’s global payment solution but said blockchain has its own set of challenges.

At that time, TransferWise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus said,

“If every bank in the world was going through the Ripple network, it would be amazing. Yet how many banks are using Ripple today in production? It’s a very short list.”

Ripple’s partner list has now increased to 300 but TransferWise still might not have any plans in the near future.

Ripple Partners Working with Visa Direct

Visa Direct’s growing partners’ list also includes Ripple members. As we reported last week, MoneyGram expanded its service to Span and the Philippines and is planning to launch in additional countries in the coming months.

This partnership had a successful launch in the US where 50% of users are brand new to MoneyGram. Moreover, indicators show custom retention rates outperforming expectations.

Before MoneyGram, last month, Ripple partner Nium that joined RippleNet in February 2018 and was the first one ODL to settle transactions between US dollar and Mexican peso, partnered with Visa Direct.

Interestingly, Earthport, a cross-border payment company that joined Ripple in 2014 was acquired by Visa earlier this year.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy