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Lithuanian fintech company Bitlocus has partnered with banking-as-a service platform, Striga, to offer a crypto payment card – a debit card with the option of using digital currencies – for Bitlocus platform users.
Soon to be available in digital and virtual formats, the debit card will enable clients to purchase goods and services using their crypto funds like traditional currencies wherever Visa is accepted.
“The card is a natural addition to the portfolio of other Bitlocus products,” said Andrius Normantas, CEO at Bitlocus.
“Digital currencies and the crypto ecosystem, in general, are gaining momentum, and we want our clients to benefit from this shift as much as possible.”
Bitlocus cardholders will be able to spend their crypto on POS devices, withdraw cash from ATMs or make online purchases.
Additionally, business clients will also be able to make payments with their tokens listed on the Bitlocus exchange.
The latest product adds to Bitlocus’s available offering, after the firm launched the Bitlocus investing platform in March.
The investing platform enables users to convert their crypto yield generated by staking to euros and make withdrawals directly to their bank accounts.
More companies issue crypto cards
Bitlocus becomes the latest in the series of fintech companies offering crypto debit cards.
Earlier this week, Swedish crypto firm Quickbit debuted the Nordic nation’s first crypto debit card, in partnership with card issuer Intergiro.
Last week, Binance announced the launch of a new crypto card for refugees from Ukraine, enabling them to transact with retailers in Europe using their crypto wallets.
The latter already offers a crypto debit card, in partnership with BaaS provider Contis, to customers in the European Economic Area.
In February, Singapore-based crypto exchange, hi, also announced partnership with Contis to launch its debit card to allow cardholders to spend their cryptocurrencies.
Crypto payments surge
The increase in crypto-linked debit cards, as well as credit card launches, comes as consumers begin to adopt such mediums for payment transactions.
Visa reported that its customers had made more than $2.5 billion in payments with their crypto-linked cards in the first fiscal quarter of 2022.
The figure marks a huge jump from the $1bn volume recorded by Visa in the first six months of 2021 and 70% of the payments volume for the entire year.
In that same earnings call, Visa mentioned that it had partnered with more than 50 crypto wallets and platforms to offer Visa cards.
Since then, the likes of Bitlocus and Quickbit have joined the partnership to issue their own Visa cards.
Digital payment technology company i2c also highlighted the growing adoption of crypto cards, with crypto-related accounts growing 11x year-over-year from March 2020 to March 2021.
According to its crypto card programme report in February, consumers used crypto-backed cards at twice the rate of traditional cards in transactions related to digital goods, airlines, and transportation.
Firms invest in cryptocurrencies infrastructure
The surging crypto payment volume highlights the wider market interest in the crypto space, where both retail and institutional investors have displayed renewed interest.
In the institutional space, companies have been strengthening their crypto infrastructure to adapt to the industry.
Last month, New Jersey-based fintech infrastructure specialist, Cross River Bank, partnered with fraud and compliance start-up Sardine on an API integration to tackle fraud in crypto payments.
That same month, institutional tech provider FIS also collaborated with crypto custody, transfer, and settlement provider Fireblocks to offer the latter’s services to its clients.
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