Bringing Bitcoin to as many everyday consumers as humanly possible is what every virtual currency-related company has set out to do. Some companies will have an easier task in this regard, as they provide a tangible item that consumers can get acquainted with. E-Coin, a Bitcoin debit card provider, recently launched their virtual card service for customers from all over the world.
The E-Coin Virtual Bitcoin Debit Card
While Bitcoin debit cards may not be the perfect solution to increase Bitcoin adoption and awareness, there are certain advantages. First of all, everyday consumers can become familiar with paying in Bitcoin and still utilize a form of payment accepted worldwide, in the form of debit cards. For the merchant, there are lower costs associated, compared to credit card payments, which is an added bonus.
Secondly, a Bitcoin debit card can be funded with virtual currency, giving consumers the option to spend BTC at millions of online or in-store locations around the world. Even though payments are not taking place in Bitcoin directly, funding a debit card will occur in Bitcoin and balances are converted to fiat currency.
However, not every consumer wants to deal with physical debit cards, as it might lead to annoying questions from spouses or friends. This is one of the reasons why E-Coin, one of the leading Bitcoin debit card providers, has launched their virtual card service. Similar to its physical counterpart, a virtual E-Coin Bitcoin debit card will work in the same manner.
At the time of publication, E-Coin services over 20,000 customers in 173 countries around the world. Bearing in mind that these numbers are stemming from physical Bitcoin debit cards being delivered to addresses, the company has seen a great deal of success so far. Now that E-Coin customers can also get their hands on a virtual card, the customer base will only increase on a global scale.
Keeping in mind that E-Coin’s virtual Bitcoin debit card is subject to the same deposit and withdrawal limits, users who want to actively use their card will have to go through a simple verification procedure. Sending in verification documents – an ID scan and a recent utility bill – will lift limits on the card to comfortable boundaries.
Something that may be of particular interest to Bitcoin users in certain countries is the fact virtual E-Coin debit cards can be used for verification purposes on platforms such as eBay and Paypal. According to the information we have received, the virtual E-Coin Bitcoin debit card should also work with newly launched service Apple Pay, although that has not been officially confirmed just yet.
Hurdles to Overcome Remain the Same
One of the downsides to most Bitcoin debit card service providers – including E-Coin – is the fact that they can not service customers from all countries. While 173 countries is nothing to be sneezed at, that list does not include major Bitcoin hubs such as the United States and India. Applying for a virtual card through E-Coin when living in these countries is not possible unless customers get “creative”.
For E-Coin to overcome these hurdles, they would need dedicated banking partners in those countries. Dealing with local complaints in those areas is subject to very specific policies and regulations, which is a pain in the neck for any company looking to operate in those markets. At the time of publication, no timeframe was given on when E-Coin will be able to officially service customers in those countries.
But there is a fair bit of positive news as well. E-Coin is a Bitcoin company looking to evolve and that evolution could include a partnership with Mastercard in the future. Furthermore, the company’s mobile application should be able in the next 2-3 months and partners will get access to an API provided by E-Coin.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of E-Coin, Shutterstock