Visa Approves Australian Startup to Issue Debit Cards for Spending Bitcoin

The move by Visa to allow the issuance captures the growing interest in cryptocurrencies for Australia's economic market.

AccessTimeIconJul 14, 2021 at 3:22 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:25 p.m. UTC
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Australians will soon be able to spend crypto via existing brick-and-mortar point-of-sales with the issuance of a new physical debit card, the Australian Financial Review reported Wednesday.

Global payments giant Visa has approved local Australian startup CryptoSpend to begin issuing debit cards for the startup's users. Those using the CryptoSpend app can then pay using their bitcoin and other supported crypto at retail stores and hospitality venues.

Instead of needing to convert from crypto to fiat, like some other offerings on the market, users of CryptoSpend's app can make direct purchases.

CryptoSpend co-founder Andrew Grech told CoinDesk via email CryptoSpend's card will give Australians another "flexible way" to spend their crypto on everyday items.

"Anything from a cinema ticket to your new pair of headphones," said Grech.

ASX-listed Novatti will issue the card, which is expected to hit Australia in September, while custody of the crypto holdings will be handed over to New York-licensed custodian BitGo, AFR reported.

CryptoSpend's app allows users to spend their crypto, pay out to their account, and pay bills with supported cryptos including bitcoin, ether, XRP, bitcoin cash and litecoin. The app has its own wallet on which users can hold their coins.

"We have customers that range from 18-year-old students to 70-year-old grandmothers, said Richard Voice, co-founder & COO of CryptoSpend. "[This] further emphasizes the growing appetite for people of all ages to use crypto as an everyday currency."

Indeed, the move captures the growing interest in cryptocurrencies for Australia's economic market. Hong Kong-based Crypto.com became a principal member of Visa Australia in March, allowing the business to directly offer its version of a crypto Visa card in Australia.

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