Bitcoin debit card iBTCard will offer lower processing fees for merchants

(@davidgilson) | Published on July 29, 2013 at 15:59 BST | Merchants, News, Startups, Technology

A new way to pay by bitcoin is on the horizon, a bitcoin debit card called iBTCard. That name stands for International Bitcoin Transfer Card. The company behind the project, Tradecoinz LLC, is hoping to provide an alternative payment method to VISA and MasterCard, but in a way that most people can recognise and understand.

We spoke to the founder and CEO of Tradecoinz, Cameron Halter, who told us that iBTCard will register with FinCEN as a money services business (MSB). He also stated that there will be policies in place to prevent theft and money laundering. One of those methods is a numerical one-time password (OTP) embedded on the card itself.

Halter is looking to undercut the incumbents of the payment card world (i.e. MasterCard and VISA) by offering lower fees for merchants – between 0.5% and 1.25%. In addition to lower fees, Halter said that iBTCard will control the fees placed on card holders and that because it’s independent, VISA and MasterCard would not be able to shut the service down.

The service is also planned to be merchant friendly. For example, it will provide subscription payments so that consumers can be automatically billed in bitcoins. Halter also states that iBTCard will be able to integrate with existing point of sale (POS) systems.

Halter went on to tell us, “Though many benefits exist, it doesn’t change the difficulty developing such a system. We need to convince both merchants and consumers to use our card. In addition, we will need to convince POS manufacturers to integrate our services. However, if the community wants bitcoin to be a respected currency, you need to increase its usage and acceptance. Integrating with pre-existing technologies people understand is a great way to do that”.

If you’re interested in jumping on board with this, then you’ll have to wait a little. Signups for the card begin in a few days – 1st August. Halter also told us that iBTCard will begin fund raising “in a few weeks” to expedite its development phase. The investment will follow the now familiar pattern of, “Merchants and consumers who donate a certain amount will be given early access and receive an iBTCARD”, Halter told us. He also said that he is actively looking for “experienced investors and business partners to help the company grow”.

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