Xapo Debit Card Review

Xapo is one of the most convenient cryptocurrency debit cards available today. This is because it provides users with a technologically advanced Bitcoin wallet. The wallet is associated with the debit card which makes Bitcoin accessible immediately for spending. In addition, the security of the Xapo wallet is very respected in the industry. It it even called the Fort Knox of Bitcoin thanks to its security features.

About Xapo - Xapo.com

Although they are one of the newest players on the debit card market, Xapo has done many things to solidify its reputation in a short period of time. The company began in the United States and was launched in April of 2014. It’s primary owner chose to move the company headquarters to Zurich, Switzerland in May 2015 for fiscal reasons. Switzerland has long been a haven of financial institutions because of its regulatory structure. The country has a long tradition of neutrality and excellence in global finance. It is a perfect spot for companies that are seeking to advance the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The company was originally incorporated in Argentina but is now registered in Hong Kong. The primary founders are Wences Casares and Federico Murrone. This company gets high marks for its transparency and making the identities of its executives available to the public.

Casares has a strong background in Internet marketing and business. He has been working in the field for more than 20 years. During the Argentine fiscal crisis that occurred a few years ago, Casares began to explore the possibilities of Bitcoin and how it could be used. His interest in crypto coins was so strong that he founded his own digital wallet called Lemon. The wallet was originally created to store Casares’ own personal Bitcoins and was developed in 2011. Casares is the CEO of Xapo, but he also is on the board of directors of PayPal and other payment processing platforms. We don’t have to tell you how huge this is. Anyone that is respected enough to be on the PayPal board has some serious credentials.

Casares has partnered with long-time associate Federico Murrone, the COO of Xapo. Murrone has been around since the earliest days of Casares’ interest in cryptocurrencies. He is the driving force behind the technological side of the company. It is Murrone that is responsible for making sure the Xapo platform runs smoothly.

This company has done such a good job in the few short years of its existence that some of the leading venture capital firms in Silicon Valley have invested $40 million in its operation. These firms include Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, and others. In addition, Xapo has hired individuals with impeccable credentials in the world of finance. These individuals include former Clinton-era Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers, the founder of Visa Dee Hock, and former Citibank CEO John Reed.

As you can see, these credentials give Xapo a strong foundation. In fact, the company has one of the strongest financial pedigrees that you will find among issuers of Bitcoin debit cards. 

Services offered by Xapo

Key among the services provided by Xapo is its secure Bitcoin wallet. This wallet can be used to store and manage Bitcoin, and it is even available in a mobile version for Android and iOS devices. The company claims that its wallet is the strongest available today. It offers a triple layer security. The first of these layers is cryptographic in the standard fashion. There is also multifactor authentication and private key segmentation. Xapo has established data vaults in multiple secure locations around the world which help to protect the data obtained by Xapo which is kept offline. The fact that the company uses geographical dispersion also means that assets are less likely to be seized by any type of government entity.

The Xapo wallet works perfectly with the Xapo debit card. This is really the most effective way to create a Bitcoin debit card. What this means is that Bitcoin can be immediately accessed from the debit card and converted to fiat currency for spending or ATM withdrawal. The Visa logo also gives the card credibility and respect throughout the world. The card can be issued with base currencies of the USD, EUR, and GBP.

What this means is that Xapo is a comprehensive solution. It combines a wallet, a vault, and a Bitcoin debit card. Verification is required and can take a long time. In fact, the company does not even promise a certain time frame for verification. It can take weeks, a month, or longer. To verify, the company requires a government-issued ID as well as documents to verify the physical address of the account holder. These documents must have been issued within the previous three months.

Cards are unavailable to the residents of the United States, India, and select countries in Asia and Africa. Given the reputation and leaders of the company, this is something that could change over time. The card is available in 129 countries, including China. 

Loading a Xapo Bitcoin Debit Card

Because the Xapo debit card is backed with a Bitcoin wallet, making loads to the card is very easy. Any Bitcoins that are sent to the wallet are automatically available on the card. It is also possible to buy Bitcoins at a very low fee, and sending Bitcoins to others is free. Individuals can also link bank accounts for transfers. The multiple ways this company provides loading is just one more reason it has such a strong appeal.

Xapo Fees and Limits

A fee of just $20 USD is required to obtain the Xapo debit card. There is also a $1 USD charge to have a PIN associated the account. Those who order the card are not required to pay anything for the first year of service. After that, there is a $12 yearly fee which is comparable to that found with many credit and debit cards. Regular shipping of the card is free, but the delivery can take from 10-25 days depending on where the user lives. Those who need the card quicker can have it within seven days, but the cost is expensive. The company charges $55 USD for expedited delivery with DHL.

There is an unverified option for those who want this card, but this triggers strong limits. Those who do not verify can only spend $2,500 USD online and may only make a total of $1,000 in cash withdrawals for the duration of the time they hold the card. After this, the card must become verified in order to be used. One should also note that those who cannot verify still have to provide basic information like a name, email address, phone number, and date of birth. There really is no anonymous option from this company.

Those who verify their account will be rewarded with no lifetime limits on online purchases. They also have no lifetime limits on how much money can be withdrawn from ATM machines. There are daily limits to using the service, however. POS transactions are limited to $20,000 USD each day and ATM withdrawals are limited to a total of two transactions for a maximum of $2,000 USD total.

There is no charge for making purchases in the card’s base currency. If the card is used to make international transactions, there is a foreign exchange fee of 3%. The charge for using the card at a domestic ATM is $2.50 USD and international use costs $3.50 USD. These charges are very reasonable  when compared to the cost of other card companies.

Those who wish to buy Bitcoins with Xapo will have to pay 1% for the privilege. This is still low compared to the cost of using some cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitcoins can be sent for free with Xapo and do not incur a network fee. Xapo makes the current exchange rate of Bitcoin available on its website and does not add any additional margin. The rates fall within the real-time bid exchange rates of most exchanges.

There is no maintenance fee or other cost to use the service. It cost nothing to fund or open the account. In fact, the company has a motto which states, “Your Xapo Wallet is entirely free. Welcome to the world of Bitcoin.”

Xapo Service and Support

Users will find the the Xapo website is just as professional as one might imagine given the reputation of its founders. The design is appealing and information is easy to locate. The FAQ of the site is very well done and it is also available in multiple languages. It can be accessed in English, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Two contact email addresses are provided for users. There is also a contact form on the site which can be used to reach the company’s customer service department. In our experience, the company handles all inquiries in a timely manner.

You will have a lot of difficulty trying to find any scam reports about this company online. They simply don’t exist. In fact, the company takes a direct approach to resolving issues that arise. It’s president has even been known to respond directly to customers on forums if an issue is reported. But, what would you expect from a company that has such a strong foundation?

Users can reach out to Xapo through email or various social media platforms:

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: https://twitter.com/xapo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xapoapp

Our View of Xapo

The credentials of this company are simply beyond dispute. The presence of owners and founders who have worked in important financial sectors is a big plus, and so is the presence of venture capitalists and investors. Capital companies do not invest in risky, shady companies. This company is transparent and above-board at every turn.

Visa lends its logo to the debit card and that is a big plus. The Xapo wallet is highly regarded in the industry for its overall safety and security. The fact that there are no top-up fees and that the other fees are reasonably low is another advantage of using this card.

There are some restrictive limits imposed on unverified users, but this is actually a good thing. Anonymous cards are usually indicative of a sketchy company. The fact is, most people who want to ethically use this card will not have a problem with verification. The expedited shipping  cost is also a bit extreme, and standard shipping can take some time. Also, verification can take forever.

The positives here are just too overwhelming. Xapo earns 4.75 of 5 starts on our rating scale, one of the highest ratings we have given.

Xapo Pros

Very secure
Strong company background
No charge for topping up the card

Xapo Cons

Restrictive limits for unverified users
Expensive expedited shipping
No cards for US citizens

As of January 2018 Visa®  instructed XAPO and others to cancel all its Visa® Programs effective immediately. As a result, all the cards of the Xapo Cards Program were deactivated. They are looking for an alternative card issuer.