7

Bitcoin Visa debit cards (bitpay, xapo, cryptopay) offer low foreign exchange fee when paying merchants or getting cash from ATMs. Do such debit cards work in India and are they widely accepted?

  • How is 3% (the exchange fee for bitpay and cryptopay, could not find any info about xapo...) low? I pay 2.5% for a run-of-the-mill credit card from a main street bank (i.e. without any effort to look at gold cards, online banks, whatever). – Relaxed Aug 20 '16 at 9:38
  • @Relaxed you are correct. After searching a while, the Amazon credit card looks like the cheapest option. The only problem with credit cards is ATM: cash withdrawals are "cash advances" which have high interest rates starting day 1... – Sparkler Aug 20 '16 at 15:22
  • Yes, you have to be careful and read the fine print. With my bank's visa card you can also put a positive balance on credit cards and thus avoid interest fees but that's not always the case. – Relaxed Aug 20 '16 at 16:05
12

A BitCoin Visa debit is a Visa debit card, and will work as one where such cards are accepted.

Where can I use my card? (BitPay)
You can use your BitPay Prepaid Visa® card at any online or brick and mortar merchant that accepts Visa® Debit cards.

Where can I use my Xapo Debit Card?
At any merchant that accepts VISA.
The Xapo Card works just like any other debit card, but instead of drawing funds from your bank account, it debits purchases directly in bitcoin from your Xapo main wallet. You can use the card for online purchases, to shop at your local store, or at ATMs.

Where can I use my debit card? (Wagecan)
Almost everywhere! Any retail, merchant, point-of-sale terminals and ATMs, as long as you see ‘Card Issuer Accepted’, you can use it.

Note that not all companies will ship their cards to India, BitPay doesn't, Xapo doesn't and CryptoPay doesn't. Wagecan seems to ship worldwide.

According to this article, BitCoin is not yet regulated in India, but it isn't illegal. As you'd expect, adoption rates are higher in urban centres (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai), but adoption still seems slow.

This thread and particularly this one (both July 2016) discuss the state of BitCoin in India.

  • 1
    In fact, if you read carefully, those seem in fact to be regular USD/GBP/EUR prepaid visa cards so I would not expect any problem and they could even be legal in place where using bitcoin is not. Even the contracts, fees, limits, etc. are stipulated in those currency (and not in bitcoin). On the flip side, those cards only look practical because of the dismal status of bitcoin payments, they are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. – Relaxed Aug 20 '16 at 9:40
  • @Relaxed I'm not sure what "the dismal status of bitcoin payments" is supposed to mean. In a store, I can make a Bitcoin payment from my phone faster than I can with a credit card! It's literally scan the QR code, check the amount is right, and tap Send. Perhaps you mean that many common point of sale systems do not support Bitcoin (and so I can't use it even if I wanted to)? – Michael Hampton Aug 20 '16 at 20:32
  • @MichaleHampton Well, the latter is an important aspect of it. Not that scanning a QR code is extraordinarily convenient in a time of contactless payments (they are already a bit old and not considered kindly in UX circle; personally, having to take my phone out, type the password, and find the right app would make this slower). – Relaxed Aug 21 '16 at 8:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.