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For years, banks have been downright unsupportive of blockchain businesses. But London-based Wirex—best known for its consumer-facing VISA crypto debit cards—is looking to change all that.
Starting today, Wirex business customers in the European Economic Area will be able to make payments to suppliers in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP or Litecoin, as well as twelve fiat currencies. The basic idea is that now, businesses won’t have to convert to fiat when paying other companies.
So far, a lot of blockchain businesses have had to steer clear of accepting crypto payments or have had to use complex banking arrangements with banks. Only a few, such as Coinbase, have managed to open accounts with banks at all. This new offering could make it easier for blockchain businesses to handle cryptocurrencies among themselves, and the wider business world.
Additionally, Wirex is expanding its retail offering into the Asia Pacific region by offering crypto bank accounts to consumers there. This will provide people with the ability to buy, store and transfer the same crypto and fiat currencies that its business account supports. It also has integrated international bank transfers using SEPA and SWIFT.
The company is also offering consumers in Asia the same kind of Visa crypto debit card it offers in Europe. The new debit card will convert cryptocurrencies into fiat money at the point of sale, and make the transaction in fiat money. Though there are other debit cards that provide this same service, several have lost VISA support, and have had to find other providers to continue working.
On the consumer side of things, Wirex has introduced faster ways of taking money out of accounts, back into bank accounts, using SEPA, SWIFT and UK's faster payments system. Its everyday accounts support eight cryptocurrencies (adding Nano, DAI, WAVES and WLO) and 13 fiat currencies.
These are ambitious moves, especially in the long, bear market. But it could pay off, especially if Wirex makes it easier for everyday people, and business, to use crypto.