What Is a BitPay Card?

The BitPay Card is a Mastercard prepaid card that enables users to instantly convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency, which is then loaded onto the card and can be spent anywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted around the world. Customers can also use their BitPay Cards for online transactions and to withdraw cash from ATMs. The BitPay card facilitates the conversion and usage of cryptocurrencies into fiat currency, thereby bridging the gap between real and virtual currencies.

The BitPay Prepaid Mastercard was launched in June 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • The BitPay Card is a cryptocurrency debit card that enables users to use their Bitcoin reserves to make payments within Mastercard's network.
  • Founded in 2011 by Stephen Pair and Tony Gallipi, BitPay is a payment processor that enables businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment.
  • The card can be used as a reloadable, prepaid debit card, but not as a credit card.
  • In addition to payment services and the BitPay Card, BitPay also offers a BitPay Wallet app where users can manage and spend Bitcoin, and also turn it into dollars and spend with the BitPay Card.

Understanding the BitPay Card

Founded in 2011 by Stephen Pair and Tony Gallipi, BitPay is a payment processor that enables businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment. BitPay is based in Atlanta, Georgia. After 10,000 merchants signed up to accept Bitcoin with BitPay's services, the company raised $30 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding in 2014. In 2018, BitPay underwent a Series B investment round, eventually raising an additional $40 million. Stephen Pair is the CEO of BitPay.

In addition to payment services and the BitPay Card, BitPay also offers a BitPay Wallet app where users can manage and spend Bitcoin, and also turn it into dollars and spend with the BitPay Card. In addition, the BitPay Wallet app supports many different options for buying and store crypto and make online payments. Users can instantly buy gift cards from hundreds of top retailers in stores and online.

To apply for the BitPay Card, you must be at least 18 years old and successfully complete identity and residency verification. The BitPay Card can be used at any vendor that accepts Mastercard debit cards and can be used to withdraw cash at any ATM that is compatible with Mastercard. The BitPay Card has an EMV chip that provides added security and is contactless-enabled for payments. 

In a press release from June 2020, Pair, the co-founder and CEO of BitPay said, "The BitPay Card offers new benefits and features for consumers making it easier to convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency into a spendable balance without currency risk. We are excited to work with Mastercard to expand crypto’s use, while making it easy for businesses to attract new customers who want to spend Bitcoin and offer more places for customers with Bitcoin to shop."

How Does the BitPay Card Work?

The BitPay Card works as a reloadable prepaid debit card, but not as a credit card. The BitPay Card allows businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment and get direct bank deposits in the currency of their choice for a flat 1% settlement charge. Currently, BitPay supports settlement in eight currencies and direct bank deposits in 38 countries, with Bitcoin settlement supported in 233 nations.

In February 2021, BitPay announced that U.S. cardholders of the BitPay Prepaid Mastercard can add their card to Apple Wallet and spend with Apple Pay. In addition, customers who are waiting on their physical cards to arrive can add their virtual card to Apple Wallet via the BitPay Wallet app and can start making purchases immediately. The company also announced that it would be adding support for Google Pay and Samsung Pay later this year.

As of September 2020, the industry that had accepted the highest share of cryptocurrency payments worldwide through BitPay in 2020 was the prepaid card and gift card industry, which accepted 26.3% of all BitPay payments. And according to data from AksjeBloggen, financial services and the Internet industry lead in BitPay payments, with around 23% of companies using cryptocurrency payments.