Wirex Review

5 (100%) 2 votes

Formerly called E-Coin, Wirex is a debit card meant to integrate digital money and traditional banking services. It is being marketed as a “hybrid personal banking platform” supporting both fiat and crypto currencies. It is issued by Wave Crest Holdings Limited, an electronic money service company licensed by the Financial Services Commission of Gibraltar with the company registration number 101302

Wirex URL:

https://wirexapp.com/

Wirex Overview

Wirex is a London-based  bitcoin debit card, mobile banking, and remittance service provider. It is a limited company launched in 2015 with initial funding of around $200,000 from 93 investors (crowdfunding) through the online investment platform BnktotheFuture. Going by the slogan “Drive Your Money,” Wirex enables the linking of bitcoin wallets to Visa and MasterCard debit cards. It supports three currencies, namely US dollars, euro, and pound sterling. Wirex can be accessed through a desktop application or a mobile app.

Wirex or the original E-Coin was started by Dmitry Lazarichev, Pavel Matveev, and Georgy Sokolv. Lazarichev has experience and expertise and finance and entrepreneurial projects. Matveev worked as an IT developer for around a decade and has experience working with noted investment banks in different parts of the world. Sokolov, on the other hand, is an international sales specialist.

Wirex Account Registration

Signing up for a Wirex account is a quick process. You just have to go to the account registration page and fill out the registration form. The form only asks for your full name and email address. After submitting the filled out registration form, you have to confirm your email address by clicking on the Confirm Email button in the email you will receive from Wirex regarding your account registration. It shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds to complete these.

The email confirmation step, however, is not the only thing you have to do to finally access your account. There’s also a mobile phone verification step. You will be asked to enter your mobile phone to get your verification code. The process is also quick IF your mobile number is accepted.

In our experience while doing this review, we had to try different numbers to finally complete the mobile phone verification process. We kept getting an error after trying several numbers from the same network. The error message shown does not offer any hint as to why we couldn’t proceed with the verification after entering our mobile number. It was only after trying a number from a different network that we were able to proceed.

Account Dashboard

The Wirex account interface is relatively intuitive. It shouldn’t be difficult finding your way around it especially if you have already used other similar bitcoin debit cards before. You will see your account balance to the left. Right below it is the “Getting Started” guide that reminds you to verify your identity, add extra security to your account, add funds to your card through bank transfer or alternative payment methods, and know more about Wirex (video tutorials). To the right, taking the larger portion of the Wirex dashboard, is a list of recent events associated with your account.

As mentioned, you will be reminded to verify your account but the verification process is not really compulsory unless you are going to have transactions that exceed the limits set for unverified accounts. Verification is done by making an order for a card first then proceeding to the verification process. You will be asked for proofs of identity and address in order to have your account verified.

If you want to add more details to your account or make changes, you have to go to the Profile page (link is in the dropdown list that appears as you click on your account name on the upper right corner of the site).

The Profile page allows you to add more personal details particularly your date of birth, billing address, and avatar. It also has a Settings tab where you can enable two-factor authentication, change your password, and set your reference currency.

If you have questions in mind, before contacting the support team, consider going to the Help page first (link is beside your account name on the upper right corner). The answer to your question or concern may already be there.

Like most online banking/payment processing accounts, Wirex is designed to automatically time out after a period of inactivity. It, however, does an automatic session timeout rather quickly—maybe less than 20 seconds. If you happen to leave your account open for a short period of time, you will have to log in again. This is not a major issue but can get pesky for some. We wish there’s an option to increase the session timeout period or disable session timeout when you are using a computer or mobile device you identify to be secure.

Wirex Services/Functions

Wirex has three main services:

  1. Debit Card (Visa/MasterCard), which can either be plastic or virtual
  2. Mobile Banking
  3. Remittance Service

The debit card function of Wirex supports Visa and MasterCard cards. For mobile banking, at the time we did this review, it is mostly a Wirex to Wirex type of mobile banking since the support for cards and third party payments of Wirex was yet to be made available. When it comes to remittance, what happens is that you are able to send money to a contact or your specified recipient by sending money through your Wirex account dashboard or Wirex mobile app. If your recipient has a Wirex account, they can immediately get the sent money. If they don’t have an account, they will be sent an email telling them to sign up for a free Wirex account so they can accept the money transfer or remittance.

Currencies Supported and Countries Served

Wirex supports the following currencies: US dollar (USD), euro (EUR), pound sterling (GBP), and of course bitcoins (BTC).
On its website, Wirex is stated to be available to countries in different parts of the world. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the United States. It is available in the UK, though. The full list of countries served is as follows:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Calcos Islands, Uruguay, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, Morocco, Reunion, Seychelles, South Africa, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Aland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Mobile Apps

Wirex has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. To download them, just go to Wirex homepage and find the links to the respective Android and iOS apps. You can also go to the Google Play Store or iTunes and search for the Wirex app. The official names are “Wirex. Bitcoin Wallet & Card” for Android and “Wirex. BTC Debit Card & Bitcoin Wallet” for the iOS app.

The Wirex mobile apps have relatively good ratings (3.9/5 and 4/5 on Android and iOS respectively) so it’s unlikely that you will encounter serious issues with them. The apps expectedly have a simpler layout as compared to the desktop version. It is particularly easier to find and edit profile details using the Wirex mobile app.

Security

Wirex guarantees reliable security. It has forged a partnership with BitGo to ensure  security for all accounts. All Wirex accounts come with the BitGo bitcoin wallet and are protected with SSL encryption and multisig technology.

Wirex employs several levels of security for all money transfers and related transactions. Of note, unlike physical that implement the chip-and-signature process, Wirex’s chip-and-PIN process compels cardholders to input their unique 4-digit PIN for all over-the-counter transactions. Also, every money transfer and change in account details necessitate a time-sensitive confirmation. Moreover, there’s the option to enable two-factor authentication.

It’s also worth pointing out that Wirex provides account holders to immediately block their cards through the Wirex app. The process only requires a single tap. There’s no need to send a request to Wirex’s admin or support team. You can instantly block your card if you suspect that somebody else is using it or as a precautionary measure in case you lost or misplaced your card.

Anonymity

Wirex does not guarantee anonymity. On its Terms and Conditions page, it clearly states that all transactions conducted through Wirex will be subject to AML transaction monitoring. Also proofs of identity and address are maintained for a period of at least 6 years and are to be submitted to regulators as required without the account holders getting notified. Wirex follows the Know Your Customer policy and also screens customers if they are listed under UN, EU, UK Treasury, and US Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) sanctions.

Fees and Charges

It would be safe to say that the fees and charges of Wirex are competitive. Card activation and the adding of account holder’s name on the card are free of any charge. The delivery of the physical card however costs $50 via DHL or $17 via Royal Mail. Delivery of the virtual card, on the other hand, costs $3.

Paying for transactions using Wirex is for free. Domestic ATM transactions are charged 2.50 USD, 2.25 EUR, or 1.75 GBP. International ATM transactions are charged 3.50 USD, 2.75 EUR, or 2.25 GBP. On the other hand, there’s a compulsory monthly SMS notification fee of 1.00 USD/EUR/GBP, and a card to card transfer fee of 0.25 USD/EUR/GBP. For PIN changes, the charge is 1.00 USD, 0.80 EUR, or 0.60 GBP. If you want to do foreign transactions, there’s a foreign transaction charge equivalent to 3% of the total transaction amount.

No fees are charged for POS or ePOS transactions. Likewise, Wirex does not impose inactivity fees.

Wirex Limits

Wirex provides a well-organized comprehensive summary of all limits imposed on its unverified and verified accounts so we will just  be copying them here.

Limits for Unverified Accounts USD EUR GBP
Exchange currencies (from BTC)
Number of transactions per 24 hours 2 2 2
Minimum single transaction value 25 25 25
Maximum single transaction value 2,500 2,500 2,000
Maximum lifetime transactions value 2,500 2,500 2,000
Unload transactions (exchange to BTC, online, offline, ATM)
Minimum single transaction value* 0.01 0.01 0.01
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours 1,000 1,000 800
Maximum lifetime transactions value 1,000 1,000 800
Exchange currencies (to BTC)
Number of transactions per 24 hours No limit
Maximum single transaction value 1,000 1,000 800
Online (ePOS) transactions
Number of transactions per 24 hours 5 5 5
Number of transactions per week 10 10 10
Number of transactions per month 20 20 20
Number of transactions per year 180 180 180
Maximum single transaction value 1,000 1,000 800
Offline (POS) transactions
Number of transactions per 24 hours No limit
Maximum single transaction value 1,000 1,000 800
ATM transactions
Number of ATM transactions per 24 hours (including the checking of balances) 2 2 2
Maximum single ATM withdrawal value 200 200 160

 

LImits for Verified Accounts USD EUR GBP
Exchange currencies (from BTC)
Number of transactions per 24 hours 5 5 5
Minimum single transaction value 25 25 25
Maximum single transaction value 1,0000 1,0000 8000
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours 2,0000 2,0000 16000
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit
Exchange currencies (to BTC)
Number of transactions per 24 hours No limit
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours No limit
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit
Add funds with Bank Transfer
Number of transactions per 24 hours 2 2 2
Minimum single transaction value 0.01 0.01 0.01
Maximum single transaction value 5000 5000 4000
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours 5000 5000 4000
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit
Add funds with Online Payment and other 3-rd party payment services
Number of transactions per 24 hours 2 2 2
Minimum single transaction value 1 1 1
Maximum single transaction value 500 500 400
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours 500 500 400
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit
Online (ePOS) transactions
Number of transactions per 24 hours 50 50 50
Number of transactions per week 300 300 300
Number of transactions per month 1,200 1,200 1,200
Number of transactions per year No limit
Minimum single transaction value No limit
Maximum single transaction value 60,000 60,000 50,000
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours 60,000 60,000 50,000
Maximum lifetime transactions value 60,000 60,000 50,000
Offline (POS) transactions
Number of transactions per 24 hours No limit
Minimum single transaction value 0.01 0.01 0.01
Maximum single transaction value No limit
Maximum transactions value per 24 hours No limit
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit
ATM transactions
Number of ATM transactions per 24 hours (including the checking of balances) 2 2 2
Minimum single ATM withdrawal value 0.01 0.01 0.01
Maximum single ATM withdrawal value 1,000 1,000 800
Maximum ATM withdrawals value per 24 hours 2,000 2,000 1600
Maximum lifetime ATM withdrawals value No limit

 

Bitcoin Account Limits BTC
Add funds (from external account)
Min/max No limit
Exchange currencies (from Wirex card)
Min value 0.01
Max single value 3
Max daily limit 20
Max monthly limit 100
Send funds (to external account)
Min single value 0.001
Max single value 10
Max daily limit 20
Max monthly limit 250

 

PayPal and Third Party Payment Limits USD EUR GBP
Number of transactions / per 24 hours 2 2 2
Minimum single transaction value 1 1 1
Maximum single transaction value 500 500 400
Maximum transactions value / per 24 hours 500 500 400
Maximum lifetime transactions value No limit No limit No limit

 

How to Add Funds and Make Payments

At the time we did this review, Wirex only allowed the adding of funds through bitcoins/altcoins. The online payment and card options were labeled “coming soon.”

The altcoins accepted on Wirex are bitcrystals (BCY), bitcoindark (BTCD), bitshares (BTS), clams (CLAM), dash (DASH), digibyte (DGB), digixdao (DGD), dogecoin (DOGE), emercoin (EMC), ether (ETH), ether classic (ETC), factoids (FCT), golem (GNT), iconomi (ICN), LBRY credits (LBC), lisk (LSK), litecoin (LTC), maidsafe (MAID), melon (MLN), monacoin (MONA), omnicoin (MSC), nubits (NBT), namecoin (NMC), novacoin (NVC), nxt (NXT), peercoin (PPC), augur (REP), reddcoin (RDD), shadowcash (SDC), siacoin (SC), storjX (SJCX), startcoin (START), steem (STEEM), singularDTV (SNGLS), tether (USDT), voxels (VOX), vericoin (VRC), vertcoin (VTC), counterparty (XCP), monero (XMR), ripple (XRP), and zcash (ZEC).

Adding funds through bitcoins is a simple and quick process. You just have to copy the bitcoin wallet address indicated on the Add Funds interface or scan the QR code shown therein. Bitcoin transfers are expected to be completed almost immediately. However, there are times when transactions may take 24 to 32 hours. This delay is usually attributable to the blockchain speed and capacity.

Wirex also integrates ShapeShift in its payment system to conveniently accommodate fund additions using various popular altcoins.

Customer Service/Support

You can reach Wirex through email ([email protected] or [email protected]) or social media. Just go to the Contact Us page (link is on the footer part of the site) to find the links to the official social media accounts of Wirex. You may also visit Wirex at their London office. We noticed the site had a Zendesk script running on it but we couldn’t find a live chat Zendesk button anywhere. Apparently, it was yet to be made available.

Wirex Limited is registered with company number 09334596 and has the following registered office address: 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. Unfortunately, there is no telephone number posted on the Wirex website. Email and social media, apparently, are the only options to communicate with them.

Wirex, by the way, has a 24/7 support team to address concerns, complaints, and inquiries.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Supports major currencies and accepts altcoin funding
  • Good security system
  • Instant card blocking (initiated by the account holder)
  • Good mobile apps

Cons

  • Hassle with the mobile number verification step
  • No anonymity
  • Other functions not yet ready, the online payment and card options for adding payment in particular
  • No US operations, does not accept registrations for users in the US

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that Wirex is a good option for those who are looking for bitcoin debit card. It is easy to use and comes with a good setup for securing accounts. It is also notably feature-rich, at least on paper. Unfortunately, not all of its features are available yet. It is a very promising bitcoin debit card and online payment/funds transfer service. Users may just have to wait a little more for everything to be ready and improved.

6 Comments on "Wirex Review"

  1. Luís Mendes | May 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Reply

    I Opening an account and requesting a card, I have deposited the minimum necessary to load the card.
    The exchange failed and my btc disappeared.
    Customer support after one week does not solve the problem.

  2. Customer support takes over a week to respond, and they don’t seem to pay attention to what the client has to say. takes really long to get things resolved.
    so far very disappointed with verification process. 3 months without luck, altho i provide them with government issued documentation

  3. I am dissapointed with their unprofessional there sms verification doesnt work and when you ask them what is this all about, they give you emoticon and just ignore you terrible its like we going to ask money from them to borrow not to buy.

    Really Dissapointed

  4. IBRAHIM ALJASEM | October 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Reply

    they have canceled all my cards because my country is not supported anymore , then they promise to transfer all my money to my bitcoin wallet , am waiting from 2 weeks , but nothing has changed , and still waiting my money to get back to me !! if they solve my problem i will change this review

  5. AVOID, BEWARE. I went on this site to order a GBP plastic card as i’m from the uk, it’s the first thing i look for to change into GBP on any crypto site i use anyway i did the form filled it all in correct for a GBP plastic card and it said ok now pay by bitcoin for the card which i did on doing this it had ordered me a USD plastic card and the GBP card was pending for payment, now i know i did it all right. I even got a screenshot of the 2 card one paid for and one pending payment, now how can i have done this it would have meant me filling 2 different orders in. I’ve been in contact with them and they say they are looking into this, this was about a week ago, mean while they have posted me a USD plastic card out to my UK address which is no good to me and will go in the bin. There are other better places to get cards thats what i’ve done please think before you use this company. Gary

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