Bitcoin exchange CoinJar, with headquarters in Melbourne, commenced trial of the bitcoin card system, dubbed Swipe. It will allow bitcoin users to pay for items with digital currency in stores that accept virtual money. The users will also be able to withdraw money at ATMs.
The system will operate on Australian EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) network, which is supported by all main banks and includes 826,769 payment terminals all over the country.
Speaking to Coindesk, CEO of the Australian bitcoin platform Asher Tan told: “Swipe lets CoinJar customers spend their bitcoin at any retail outlet that accepts EFTPOS, or withdraw cash from EFTPOS-compatible ATMs. It’s all part of CoinJar’s plan to build a simple, usable bitcoin ecosystem.”
The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) reports that more than 17 million transactions are made each day via ATMs in Australia and EFTPOS terminal network.
Tan added that the trial will contribute to the future promotion of cryptocurrency. He said: “We created Swipe because we simply wanted to make it easier for our customers to spend their bitcoin.”
“Swipe demystifies bitcoin and makes it accessible to everyone through a secure platform. Our team is really excited about Swipe, and we look forward to receiving feedback from our customers,” Tan added.
The trial will involve around 100 participants that will use CoinJar during the next two weeks until the firm will make the system available to its customer base of 30,000 people.
After loading bitcoins onto the debit cards, they will be converted into Australian dollars and charged a 2% fee. EFTPOS feature does not include extra charge.
Emerchants will be responsible for the issue of the cards.
Tan noted that the new service was launched with an aim to prompt more people utilize bitcoin and understand its advantages. CoinJar was not planning to obtain much profit from the system.
Swipe’s benefits include free transfers from all parts of the world and easy payments between individuals.
Until now, CoinJar’s overall bitcoin transactions total $50 million Australian dollars. Besides, the company provides iOS app and a bitcoin wallet. CoinJar also projects to create an pp for Android platform soon.
Approximately 500,000 Australians are already using bitcoin. Tan said that bitcoin is for those who want gain full control of their funds.
“It is not controlled by a bank or other other third parties, but by a network of computers worldwide backed by strong encryption that verify transactions multiple times to ensure that no fraudulent transactions occur,” Tan said. “This means nobody has total control over your money but you,” he added.
Customers can register for future releases of the Swipe card on CoinJar website.