One of the main difficulties blocking the widespread adoption of crypto is its inaccessibility. Most people aren’t interested in investing. They don’t want to use online exchanges, and they do not care one bit about the markets. All they require is a safe, cheap, and frictionless way to exchange value.
That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide, in the hope that some people will be encouraged to acquire their own card and join us in our endeavor to bring crypto into the spotlight.
Why sign up for a crypto debit card?
Currently, fiat currencies are easier to use than crypto but only because they are still benefitting from an enormous head start. The gap between our grandparents’ fiat world and the new era of personal finance is slowly being closed, and crypto debit cards will be an important factor in encouraging newcomers. Not only do these cards make it easier to spend crypto, but it does so in a familiar and highly visible way. Think about it, if you were a crypto virgin and you saw somebody paying for their shopping using their crypto card, would you not be intrigued?
If you haven’t got a card the question is why not? Most of us would love to see others join the crypto community, and using crypto cards would show skeptics that crypto isn’t just a technology for the future. In this guide, I’ll be setting up my account with Wirex, (as I think their Litecon transactions are going to take off) but there are other cards available, and the registration processes shouldn’t differ too much.
Before you start
Nobody enjoys dashing around the house looking for documents and ID while they’re in the middle of something. Since both are an essential part of the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, it’s best to find them in advance. To make the registration process quicker, install the Wirex app on your mobile device and make sure you have the following to hand:
- Photographic ID (Preferably a driving license or passport)
- A government/bank issued document with your name and billing address (No more than three months old)
- Your cell phone number
- A smartphone phone with a good quality camera
We’ve all been here before, to start the registration process you’ll need to enter your email and a password. For extra security, make sure you’re on the right website. If you’re as paranoid as I am, you can install LastPass and use the add-on to generate an ultra-safe password that you don’t even need to remember. (Though when generating your master password it’s a good idea keep a hard copy somewhere safe).
That was simple enough. Now that you’ve set up an account, you can order your card, you don’t need a physical card to use Wirex’s services, but even though I’m a crypto enthusiast, I’m old school, and some habits are hard to shake.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from the Wirex team. If you can’t see it check your junk folder. If that doesn’t work, ask Wirex to resend the confirmation email.
Once you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions, you will be able to access your account from the mobile app. Now it is time to provide your KYC using the link “get verified now” at the bottom of the page.
You will be asked to open the Wirex app to scan the QR code on your computer screen.
N.B. Before you go any further, it is always a good idea to protect your account by setting up 2-factor authentification. It is easy to find in the settings and will provide an additional level of security to your wallet. A belt-and-braces job is always a welcome approach when it comes to your finances, am I right?
Now you can order a card.
Select your preferred currency, and you will be asked to verify your mobile device. Simply provide your full name, date of birth, and your phone number, and you’ll receive a verification code via text. Enter it, and you’ll be asked for your billing address. (This should be the same address as the one on your KYC documents.)
Now that you’ve entered your billing address, the Wirex app will request access to your phone’s camera features. Allow Wirex access, and the interface will guide you through the process of photographing your documents. Make sure that the photographs you take are clear and that the pictures contain no glare. This bit can be tricky (especially if you’re using a passport as your ID), but after a few attempts, you should be fine.
If you run into difficulty, try taking your photos in a naturally lit room (ceiling lights are your enemy here) and keep away from the windows to avoid glare.
The app will automatically take the picture if your ID is correctly framed. When taking a picture of your documents, make sure that they include your billing address and the date they were sent. (The documents should also be no more than three months old).
Lastly, take a selfie, and you should be done! Wirex will send you an email once your KYC has been confirmed telling you when your card will arrive.
Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.