Coinbase is now a “Visa principal member”. This means that Coinbase is, according to itself, “the first pure-play crypto company” to win approval for a principal Visa membership. Seeing as Coinbase has now become an official Visa member, this will allow Coinbase to bring more functionality to its existing crypto debit cards.
Coinbase becomes Visa member
Put simply, this announcement reveals that Coinbase will now have access to “principal” Visa membership. This will enable Coinbase to “further improve the customer experience”, and make it easier to spend crypto in “everyday situations”.
Coinbase has previously had its “Coinbase Card” offering available in select countries. The launch of the Coinbase Card was also the result of a partnership with Visa, albeit a lesser one. After first launching the Visa crypto debit card in the UK in 2019, Coinbase Card is now available to customers in 29 different markets.
Moreover, the customers with a Coinbase Card are already able to spend ten different cryptocurrencies in “millions of merchant locations”. Users can easily decide what crypto wallet they want to use for upcoming transactions within the app.
The card is already proving popular in Central Europe, with peak usage in the UK, Italy, Spain and France. This type of crypto debit card intends to bridge the gap between traditional crypto payments and credit card transactions.
The Visa membership could turbocharge Coinbase Card
It now seems that things will only get better with the principal Visa membership. According to the post on the Coinbase blog, this partnership means that Coinbase customers will soon get more features. It appears this will trickle down to Coinbase’s existing Coinbase Card offering.
“This membership will enable us to offer more features for Coinbase Card customers; from additional services to support in more markets — all elements that will help to evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience.”
Principal members of Visa are, according to Yahoo News, financial institutions that can act as an “issuing bank”. As such, these can issue cards and provide transaction processing services. It is unclear exactly how Coinbase intends to leverage its newfound principal Visa membership.
Will this bridge credit card transactions and crypto payments?
However, one report suggests that Coinbase could theoretically use the membership to issue cards to other crypto companies. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether Coinbase has any immediate plans for that.
A Forbes article recapping the announcement reveals that Coinbase officially got the principal membership in December. It has, however, not been revealed until now. The same article also states that this development will cut out an expensive middleman from the crypto debit business.
What’s more, it also speculates that this could dramatically help boost crypto usage. It remains to see whether this could push the usage of Bitcoin, Ether, XRP and other cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.