In an ironic twist, London-based fintech startup Revolut has partnered with Mastercard to launch a US debit card that will presumably open up some cryptocurrency functionality. All the while, US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s first card launch was in the United Kingdom, with options to expand to Europe.
The Revolut Mastercard debit card has no mention of being a cryptocurrency-specific card, as in the case of Coinbase’s Visa offering. However, there is potential that US customers may be able to use their Revolut App to buy, or receive crypto, sell it for e-money, and then spend that through swiping their card.
Meanwhile, surely, through stricter regulations in the US, Coinbase, with its fully operational cryptocurrency debit card, has had to settle for the UK and Europe at a later stage. The Coinbase card is issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited; Paysafe Financial Services Limited is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations for the issuing of electronic money and payment instruments, allowing this type of offering.
Even though Coinbase’s offering is far more of a cryptocurrency spending card, the company will no doubt feel that they have been somewhat betting to the post in regards to getting a foot in the US market. Revolut is a fintech startup rather than full-blown cryptocurrency exchange, but they still offer cryptocurrency services and will be partly competition for Coinbase.
Yet, for the London-based firm, they have explained that this move into the US with their card is more part of their global expansion than to try and effect a coup on cryptocurrency card payments in the US.
“Beyond Europe, the agreement will also enable Revolut to meet its global reach ambitions. Primary to these ambitions is to offer financial services to consumers in the US, and by the end of the year, the brands will launch Revolut’s first solutions in the US market,” explained the press release.
“The global expansion will also enable Revolut to reach markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America such as: Australia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico,” it added.
Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive officer, Revolut, commented, “As a launch partner of Revolut, Mastercard has been an important contributor to our success, and today’s agreement will enable us to meet our ambitious goal of offering innovative financial and payment solutions to people all over the world.”