Platform Reviews

Wirex Review: Bitcoin’s MasterCard/Visa Integration

By July 25, 2017 No Comments

Wirex has an innovative concept for the financial cryptocurrency world – it creates a bridge between Bitcoin and everyday life.

Wirex review has fallen into our hands’ thanks to the buzz that has been created around the application and its recent integration with Visa and MasterCard.

Thanks to the application, you can have multiple accounts in different currencies. And of them is Bitcoin. Long gone is the time when Bitcoin was reserved just for the dark web.

Wirex did what once was thought to be impossible – enabled paying with Bitcoins for everything, no matter where you are and what you want to buy.

Wirex: Overview

Wirex Review Interface

Name: Wirex
Website: www.wirexapp.com
Type: Wallet, Virtual and Plastic Card
Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin
Fiat Currency: USD, EUR, GBP
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Formally called E-Coin, Wirex combines cryptocurrencies with the traditional banking services through… a Bitcoin debit card that has recently been issued by both Visa and MasterCard.

It provides both buying and selling capabilities while having multiple means of loading money into your cards. You can put money on one of the cards or transfer them between multiple cards.

This cloud-based banking platform also offers mobile banking and remittance services. As a user, you are offered three fiat currencies, (USD, EUR & GBP) which are a considerable step up from other cryptocurrency wallets. The majority tends to favour USD above other currencies.

Banking with Wirex has the capability of opening up Bitcoin to the general population with its ease of use and simplicity. Wirex can also pride itself with a solid security and privacy features.

All this being said, there have been multiple complaints that put its credibility to the test.

Wirex: Supported Countries

As of today, the number of countries where Wirex card can be delivered is only at 130. Ranging from Europe to the African Continent being the latest it caters for. As stated on the official site – it isn’t a matter of citizenship, but rather where you reside that counts.

Although customers can use Wirex cards anywhere around the world where Visa cards are accepted, you can receive them only in supported countries.

Wirex focuses on reaching people in as many languages as possible:

  • English
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Russian

Wirex: Accepted Payment Methods

Wirex can issue two types of Bitcoin debit cards:

  • A tangible Visa/MasterCard with pin and chip
  • A non-tangible Virtual Card

Users can choose fiat currency from USD, EUR and GDP. The fascinating thing is that both MasterCard and Visa act exactly like traditional card we have in our wallets.

If you opt for the Mastercard, delivery will take between 3 to 8 weeks, depending on your current location. For European citizens, it can take shorter – up to 3 weeks. There is also an option of free shipping, but the delivery will take significantly longer. Faster shipping will take around 3 to 4 business days in Europe and 7 to 10 days for a delivery outside of Europe. Bear in mind that express shipping will cost extra.

Once you receive the Wirex card, it will be empty, hence you have to fund it.

Payment Methods:

  • Fiat Exchange Currency – with the options of USD, GBP, EUR
  • Third Party Payment Service – such as Paypal, Transferwise or Stripe (unavailable for unverified cards)
  • Bank Transfer – send money from your fiat currency bank account
  • Wirex Card – you can move money between separate Wirex cards (even in different currencies)

Your card will be limited to the following when topping up with one of these fiat currencies:

USD

EUR

GBP

Number of transactions / 24hrs

2

2

2

Minimum single transaction

$1

€1

£1

Maximum single transaction

$500

€500

£400

Maximum transactions / 24hrs

$500

€500

£400

Maximum lifetime transactions

No limit

No limit No limit

Wirex: Privacy & Security

wirex review privacy and security

Wirex seems to have a solid security, using 256-bit SSL for all communications between the server and web browser. This eliminates any ‘man in the middle attacks’ and ensures data is kept safe.

All the standards for cryptocurrency wallets are present – your account is protected by your e-mail and mobile. Fund-sensitive or card related information is sent instantly to your email address for confirmation.

You can also activate a two-factor authentication to safeguard your transactions and account with your mobile. The standard multi-signature security is also available and each Wirex user will own 2 or 3 multi-sig Bitcoin wallets.

Wirex has no records of your card numbers, expiry date or CVV codes and all data is securely handled by the bank in question. However, for those who appreciate the anonymity that is tied to Bitcoin, Wirex won’t be the best solution.

Another good feature about Wirex is not storing users in one hot wallet. Rather everyone is allocated a personal wallet and has their own individual security measures. Meaning that all the wallets aren’t put into one basket but are spread out and will be harder to break through.

Wirex: Fees

Fees are next to minimal on Wirex. It doesn’t charge anything if you’re spending money through a Wirex card. However, charges will apply when loading cash on a card through another financial institution.

You won’t pay any percentage fees to switch over your funds and it’s an instant bank transaction.

There aren’t any exchange rates, but one thing that can impact the price change is the Bitcoin network fee. It’s an indirect payment to Bitcoin miners for maintaining the equipment and ultimately continue mining.

Word of advice – if you want to save on blockchain fees, make large Bitcoin transfers rather than multiple small ones. If you’re thinking about transferring amounts lower than 0.001 BTC (€2.31), then Wirex might not be the best option for you.

Just like Satoshi Nakamoto wanted, the percentage of a middleman is removed and users end up with an inexpensive tool to pay for good whenever and wherever you want.

Wirex doesn’t have any hidden fees apart from those listed below. As explained before, there’s an option of using either a virtual card or a plastic card, fees are different in both cases.

Virtual Card Fees

  • Card Application Fee – the first card is free; a cost of $3 applies per subsequent card
  • Monthly Fee – £/$/€1 if there is a balance on the card’s account
  • Visa Foreign Transaction Fee – 3% if paying with currency outside your card currency i.e. USD payment when using GBP card

Plastic Card Fees

  • Card Application Fee – $17 per card (including delivery); for an express delivery an extra $50 is charged
  • Monthly Fee – £/$/€1 if there is balance in the card account
  • Domestic ATM Withdrawal Fee – $2.50 / £1.75 / €2.25; e.g. USD -> USD
  • International ATM Withdrawal Fee – $3.50 / £2.25 / €2.75; e.g. USD -> EUR
  • PIN Change Fee – $1 / £0.60 / €0.80
  • Foreign Transaction Fee – 3% if paying with currency outside your card currency, e.g. USD payment when using GBP card

Wirex: Customer Service

Wirex review customer serivce

From all the good we can see in this technology, customer service may be the worst aspect of Wirex. We didn’t have a bad experience when dealing with Wirex customer service ourselves, but the multiple online complaints speak for themselves.

We came across complaints about the response speed. A lot of users complained how long it took to hear back from Wirex. Another recurring issue was the lack of help when trying to verify the account or when the card was blocked for various reasons.

You can either submit a request via the website or access Wirex customer service via:

Wirex: Interface & Mobile App

Our first impression is that both website and mobile app have a clean and modern interface. Once logged into your account, you can easily switch between Bitcoin and fiat currency accounts.

We found the mobile app easier to use, mainly because there are fewer functions and buttons. It has a simple design and features all of the functions you need.

The desktop version of Wirex, on the other hand, can be confusing and overwhelming. Even landing on the homepage can be overwhelming with the amount of various information.

While testing, we have also found that using a mobile app was more convenient than a desktop version. Perhaps, it comes from our habit of logging into a bank account on our mobile rather than desktop.

Wirex: Who Is It For

If you want to start using Bitcoin to pay for everyday stuff or buy Bitcoin using PayPal, then Wirex is for you. Without a doubt, Wirex enabled Bitcoin to be used in reality, from paying for a morning coffee to buying a car.

But, we wouldn’t recommend it to Bitcoin’s investors or traders. It’s less practical and the fees are higher comparing to other well-known Bitcoin wallets. Also, if you’re interested in Bitcoin as a virtual currency and have no interest in using it as an exchange for goods – Wirex is not ideal.

You also have to consider the lack of anonymity. The cards will be issued in your name and linked to transfers from your personal bank account. Thus, you’re compromising your personal data.

Wirex: How To Use The Mobile App

As mentioned before, Wirex mobile app is more practical and it’s one of the unique features of the platform.

Before starting you have to first register either on the website or mobile app itself. The process couldn’t be easier and it involves standard data, e.g. name, email etc.

Once you register, confirmed the validation email, move over to your phone and download the Wirex App. It’s available on both Android and iOS.

How to use Wirex mobile app:

#1 Go to the Play Store/Apple Store and download the Wirex App.

wirex review download the application

#2 Log in/Register.

#3 Click ‘Choose a Card’.

wirex review mobile app

#4 Follow the steps of the Card Registration walkthrough.

#4.1 Select your Country.

wirex mobile app how to use it

#4.2 Select your Billing Address.

wirex review select country
#4.3 Select your Card Preferences.

It is simple, tap “Order a Card” and there will be three options: USD, EUR, GBP. You can also choose between a virtual card or get a physical Visa/MasterCard mailed to you.

Virtual card implies that you would only use this for online purchases. The physical card implies you can use it at any Visa/MasterCard friendly store, you will need to input your correct address though.

wirex review select a card

#4.4 Submit the Card Order.

wirex review submit a cad order

#5 Your new card has been ordered!

A virtual card will be received instantly but the plastic card will take some time according to where your billing address is and which shipping options you’ve chosen.

wirex review order confirmation

Loading Your Card

#1 Hit the plus button at the bottom right of your screen.

Three options appear: the add BTC, send BTC and exchange.

wirex review choose different currencies

#2 Select ‘Add Bitcoin’.

You are now adding Bitcoin into your wallet, so later you can send them into whatever card you want.

wirex review add bitcoin

#3 Use the address to send yourself Bitcoins.

Here you input how many Bitcoins you’d like to exchange into whatever the currency is. Clicking on the currency shows a drop-down go exchanging between cards.

#4 Press’Share’ button.

#5 Pick the desired card you can click ‘Add Funds’.

wirex review add funds

Wirex: Rating

Wirex made it extremely easy to spend Bitcoins, buy them and finally use them in everyday life. However, recurring customer complaints gave us a warning sign. Therefore, we decided to award it 4.0/5 stars.

Thanks to Wirex integration with Visa and MasterCard, the convenience and acceptance of Bitcoin by merchants made a huge difference. Up until now, it was a dexterous activity to buy Bitcoins with PayPal or pay with them in brick and mortar shops. Wirex has shifted Bitcoin’s spectrum and gave it to a wider audience.

The application was easy to use, and above all, the fees are straightforward and transparent. And compared to traditional banks, the fees are almost insignificant.

It’s also worth to note that Wirex security features are on a high level, and so far, Wirex hasn’t been a victim of any cyber attacks.

The only thing that stopped us from giving Wirex the highest score was the multiple complaints. While some of them were directed towards E-coin, before rebranding the platform, it’s impossible to ignore them. Once again, we haven’t experienced any issued, but be cautious at the beginning.

What do you think of the Wirex review? How was your experience with the application so far? Let us know in the comments below!

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Megan Frydel

Author Megan Frydel

Megan is a self-thought blockchain enthusiast. She enjoys combining finance with technology, from a less-techy perspective. BiteMyCoin is her most recent project underneath the umbrella of an international digital marketing agency ANCHOVY.

More posts by Megan Frydel

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