A recent report by the Bank of Canada suggests cryptocurrencies are one of the best payment options in retail. But despite this hawkish message, the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies remains very limited. So… How are you supposed to pay with cryptocurrencies when most companies still haven’t joined the future of payments?
There are a few options like QR codes (Bitpay) and cashing out your crypto. But… that isn’t really the point, is it? Most holders consider crypto cards to be the best solution to pay because they’re both simple to carry and use. After all, you’re used to bank cards.
In a 2018 survey, we asked over 400,000 users about the payment instruments required to achieve mass cryptocurrency adoption. Nearly 70% of responders pointed at cryptocurrency cards as the best option.
The demand for this solution was clear for a long time: companies that launched cryptocurrency debit cards have seen their turnover increased by 3 times. So back in June, Crypterium launched the world’s first global cryptocurrency card.
The hidden cost of innovation
Doing something for the first time is always a bit more difficult than just copy-pasting other products. But we believe is 100% worth it.
By the time of launching, there were already some alternative cards out there. But none of them was globally available. Just think of the market leader – Coinbase, offering cards only in the United Kingdom and a handful of other European nations.
We set the goal of being global – it is part of what defines us. With that in mind, we took a step aside from the conventional card partners other companies typically relied on to produce crypto cards — Visa and Mastercard. Instead, we opted to work with UnionPay, the only card provider that allows us to offer a payment method in over 170 countries.
When we launched the product, we knew instantly that it was a hit. Nearly 4,000 cards were shipped to more than 70 different countries in a week since the launch of the card. The demand was impressive, and we were processing orders efficiently. Yet, we couldn’t foresee the obstacles that arose kilometers away from our London headquarters.
How deep the rabbit hole goes?
Launching a brand new product comes with many challenges attached. One of them is that you can’t make a very precise market assessment. While we expected demand for the Crypterium Card to be high, our card issuing partner did not.
Despite our efforts to process all requests as soon as they came in and provide smooth identity verification, our clients were increasingly complaining of delays in shipping and verification. Two processes that heavily fell on our partner’s side.
The card loading was also slow, which irritated users that had to wait hours to see funds reflected on their balances.
As if it wasn’t enough, we also discovered that the FX rates applied to international transactions weren’t competitive enough. We couldn’t live with it so we decided to cover the costs of unfair rates for our clients.
To overcome all these matters, top managers of the Crypterium team flew to the Philippines and try to negotiate better terms. We did our best but there wasn’t much room for improvement, so we had to switch to a better, and do it fast.
It was time to move on
Usually, it takes months to find a new banking partner. We managed to do it in only a few weeks. Our team secured a new, more reliable partner issuing UnionPay cards that can meet our standards and requirements.
First of all, they’ve committed to processing our orders faster than ever before. We’ve also made it clear that a change this important has to be for good. So our new generation of Crypterium Cards will include both physical and virtual cards — to pay anywhere in the world, online and offline the way you want to. Moreover, the card will support QuickPass.
QuickPass is a mobile payment solution developed by UnionPay and leading banking and technology players. With this technology, Crypterium Card holders will be able to pay via NFC at POS terminals with QuickPass signage, or complete payments via smartphone apps.
So what does it all mean for you?
The big question, right? We’re working on making the transition to the second generation Crypterium Card as smooth as possible. To that end, here’s what’s going to happen:
- We’re suspending card orders until the new card is available
- We’re replacing all old cards for new ones free of charge
- Your balance of the old Crypterium Card will be automatically transferred to your new card
- We’re turning on card top-ups as soon as the new cards are available
We get it. These last few months haven’t been easy for you. But we believe this technology will help us bring the change we all have been waiting for so long. Your support remains vital more than ever to keep providing thousands of people with the best service in the entire industry.