Crypto card issuer Wirex becomes a principal member of Visa in Europe

Wirex, the London-based cryptocurrency card issuer, has been made a Visa principal member in Europe.

According to an announcement shared with The Block on Tuesday, the membership allows Wirex to issue Visa cards itself, offer new products, and apply for additional licenses. Visa principal members, in general, are authorized to act as issuing banks, meaning they can issue cards and provide transaction processing services.

Currently, Wirex's debit cards are issued by Visa. They are available in Europe and Asia and allow users to buy and convert crypto into fiat for spending it. Wirex claims it has more than 3 million customers.

In the coming months, the company is also entering the U.S.  The launch is "imminent" there, said Wirex. To be sure, Wirex USA received its first money transmission license from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance in August.

Besides the debit card, Wirex also offers a bitcoin rewards scheme called Cryptoback, giving users up to 1.5% back in bitcoin for every in-store transaction they make.

Today's Visa principal membership makes Wirex only the second crypto-native firm to get the tag. Earlier this year, Coinbase became the first pure crypto firm approved as Visa principal member. Meanwhile, Wirex also is a principal member of Mastercard.