Xapo takes pride in having been once described the The Wall Street Journal as the Fort Knox of bitcoin storage. It also claims to be the world’s first real bitcoin debit card, combining the “convenience of an everyday bitcoin wallet with the security of a deep cold storage vault.” Its debit card function enables the seamless linking of the Xapo wallet with your bitcoin wallet to facilitate convenient purchases and withdrawals.
Xapo is a financial services company incorporated in Hong Kong but has an office in the United States, in Palo Alto, California. It operates on a global level, serving customers or clients in different parts of the world. Xapo has been able to raise around 40 million USD in investments from a number of notable institutions. These include Emergence Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group, Greylock Partners, Benchmark, Ribbit Capital, Index Ventures, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, AME Cloud ventures, and Benchmark.
Getting a Xapo account is a simple process, although it may not be as simple as you would expect. The registration form you need to fill out is rather short and only asks for your your email address, password, and a four-digit PIN. However, after you enter these details, you will have to go through another set of fields for you to enter your first name, last name, and country. Only after completing these will your account be created.
There is an email verification step required but you will likely promptly receive the email from Xapo regarding your account registration, so you should be able to quickly complete the verification process.
As you click on the verification link, you will then be directed to the login page for your account. You will notice that you will be asked to enter your PIN. You should get used to this setup because every time you sign in to your account, you will be asked to enter your PIN.
IMPORTANT: There will be times when the PIN you correctly enter is not accepted by XAPO. We had instances when we correctly entered the PIN but we were stuck at the login page so we had to request for an unnecessary PIN reset. If you are really sure that you are entering the correct PIN, just proceed to entering it a few more times until you are able to log in.
Xapo Account Dashboard, User Interface
The Xapo account dashboard is simple and intuitive. Once you log in, you will see your total balance on top with buttons for adding funds and making fund transfers below it. In middle portion of the dashboard are the wallets for the different currencies you have. By default, you will see at least 4 wallets here: one for the currency you chose (when you indicated your country during account registration), one for US dollars, one for bitcoins, and another one for your bitcoin vault or bitcoin cold storage. Under the wallets is the button for getting your bitcoin debit card.
If you want to make changes in your account settings, click on the Account button (the button beside the notifications button) near the upper right corner of the site. To go to the profile page, click on your name. To go to the Security page, click on the Security Settings option.
In the Profile page, you can do changes in your personal details except your name. You may add your city, change the currency you use in your account, set your language, and verify your phone number. In the Security Settings page, you can change your PIN, reset your password, and enable second factor authentication for login.
Overall, the Xapo account dashboard or interface is easy to use and responsive. We did not have issues with it while doing this review. It occasionally asks for a PIN when accessing some pages but there’s nothing to complain. It’s a good security measure after all. We also like the notification button near the Account Dashboard as clicking it shows the activities you have been doing with your account so far. It’s a good way for monitoring your Xapo actions and for detecting if someone had been using your account without your knowledge or permission.
The Xapo website can be viewed in three different languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Currencies Supported and Countries Served
Xapo supports a multitude of fiat currencies. Apparently, it also accepts US users. Presented below is the list of countries and corresponding currencies supported by Xapo.
- Bhutan – Bhutanese Ngultrums (BTN)
- Botswana – Botswana Pulas (BWP)
- Belize – Belize Dollars (BZ)
- Canada – Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- Switzerland – Swiss Francs (CHF)
- Chile – Chilean Pesos (CLP)
- China – Chinese Yuans (CNY)
- Colombia – Colombian Pesos (COP)
- Costa Rica – Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
- Cape Verde – Cape Verdean Escudos (CVE)
- Czechoslovakia – Czech Korunas (CZK)
- Djibouti – Djiboutian Francs (DJF)
- Denmark – Danish Krones (DKK)
- Dominican Republic – Dominican Pesos (DOP)
- Algeria – Algerian Dinars (DZD)
- Egypt – Egyptian Pounds (EGP)
- Ethiopia – Ethiopian Birrs (ETB)
- European Union – Euro (EUR)
- Fiji – Fijian Dollars (FJD)
- United Kingdom – British Pounds (GBP)
- Georgia – Georgian Laris (GEL)
- Ghana – Ghanaian Cedis (GHS)
- Gambia – Gambian Dalasis (GMD)
- Papua New Guinea – Guinean Francs (GNF)
- Guatemala – Guatemalan Quetzals (GTQ)
- Guyana – Guyanese Dollars (GYD)
- Hong Kong – Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)
- Honduras – Honduran Lempiras (HNL)
- Croatia – Croatian Kunas (HRK)
- Haiti – Haitian Gourdes (HTG)
- Hungary – Hungarian Forints (HUF)
- Indonesia – Indonesian Rupiahs (IDR)
- Israel – Israeli New Sheqels (ILS)
- India – Indian Rupees (INR)
- Iceland – Iceland Kronas (ISK)
- Jamaica – Jamaican Dollars (JMD)
- Jordan – Jordanian Dinars (JOD)
- Japan – Japanese Yens (JPY)
- Kenya – Kenyan Shillings (KES)
- Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstani Soms (KGS)
- Cambodia – Cambodian Riels (KHR)
- Comoro Islands – Comorian Francs (KMF)
- South Korea – Korean Republic Wons (KRW)
- Kuwait – Kuwaiti Dinars (KYD)
- Kazakhstan – Kazakhstani Tenges (KZT)
- Laos – Laotian Kips (LAK)
- Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR)
- Lesotho – Basotho Lotis (LSL)
- Morocco – Moroccan Dirhams (MAD)
- Moldova – Moldovan Leus (MDL)
- Malagasy Republic – Malagasy Ariarys (MGA)
- Macedonia – Macedonian Denars (MKD)
- Mongolia – Mongolian Tuqhriks (MNT)
- Mauritius – Mauritanian Ouguiyas (MRO)
- Republic of Maldives – Maldivian Rufiyaas (MVR)
- Malawi – Malawian Kwachas (MWK)
- Mexico – Mexican Pesos (MXN)
- Malaysia – Malaysian Ringgits (MYR)
- Mozambique – Mozambican Meticals (MZN)
- Namibia – Namibian Dollars (NAD)
- Nigeria – Nigerian Nairas (NGN)
- Norway – Norwegian Krones (NOK)
- Nepal – Nepalese Rupees (NPR)
- New Zealand – New Zealand Dollars (NZD)
- Oman – Omani Rials (OMR)
- Peru – Peruvian Nuevo Soles (PEN)
- Papua New Guinea – Papua New Guinean Kinas (PGK)
- Philippines – Philippine Pesos (PHP)
- Pakistan – Pakistani Rupees (PKR)
- Poland – Polish Zlotys (PLN)
- Paraguay – Paraguayan Guaranis (PYG)
- Qatar – Qatari Riyals (QAR)
- Romania – Romanian Leus (RON)
- Serbia – Serbian Dinars (RSD)
- Russia – Russian Rubles (RUB)
- Rwanda – Rwandan Francs (RWF)
- Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabian Riyals (SAR)
- Solomon Islands – Solomon Islander Dollars (SBD)
- Seychelles – Seychellois Rupees (SCR)
- Sweden – Swedish Kronas (SEK)
- Singapore – Singapore Dollars (SGD)
- Somalia – Somali Shillings (SOS)
- Suriname – Surinamese Dollars (SRD)
- Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe – São Tomé and Principe Dobras (STD)
- Salvador – Salvadoran Colons (SVC)
- Swaziland – Swazi Lilangenis (SZL)
- Thailand – Thai Bahts (THB)
- Tajikistan – Tajikistani Somonis (TJS)
- Turkmenistan – Turkmenistani Manats (TMT)
- Pakistan – Pakistani Rupees (PKR)
- Togo – CFA Francs (XOF)
- Tonga – Tongan Paʻanga (TOP)
- Trinidad and Tobago – Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD)
- Tunisia – Tunisian Dinar (TND)
- Turkey – Turkish Lira (TRY)
- Tuvalu – Tuvaluan Dollar (TVD)
- Uganda – Ugandan Shilling (UGX)
- Ukraine – Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
- United Arab Emirates – United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
- United Kingdom – British Pound (GBP)
- United States – US Dollar (USD)
- Uruguay – Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
- Uzbekistan – Uzbekistani Soʻm (UZS)
- Vanuatu – Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
- Venezuela – Venezuelan Bolívar (VEF)
- Vietnam – Vietnamese Dong (VND)
- Yemen – Yemeni Rial (YER)
- Zambia – Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)
Like most other bitcoin debit card providers, Xapo provides two major functions or services. Xapo serves as a wallet as well as a bitcoin debit card. It can also serve, in a way, as a currency exchange since you can convert your balances in different currencies into other currencies. There are no fees for converting balances from one currency to another but of course the exchange rates used are noticeably lower, and it’s apparently through these lower exchange rates that Xapo derives some profit.
The Xapo bitcoin debit card allows you to spend your bitcoins anywhere in the world. This debit card directly connects to your bitcoin wallet so you can conveniently use your bitcoins wherever you may be.
The Xapo bitcoin debit card is unfortunately only available in plastic form. Xapo does not offer a virtual online card.
Xapo has Android and iOS mobile apps. Just go to iTunes or the Google Play Store and find the “Xapo Bitcoin Wallet & Vault” app. These are highly rated apps (more than 4 stars rating) so it’s unlikely that you will be encountering serious problems with them. They are intuitive and not resource-intensive. They require at least iOS 9.0 or Android 4.1. The apps, however, are relatively big, requiring more than 100 MB of storage space.
Xapo claims to be the “world’s secure bitcoin wallet.” It comes with various security measures to ensure the protection of the funds stored. Of course there’s the standard SSL encryption for the website to make sure that customers’ data are adequately protected. It also uses multi-signature technology, offline encrypted servers, a system of restricted and monitored physical vault access, highly secure servers housed in a decommissioned Swiss military bunker, and a redundant global network of storage vaults designed to be able to quickly detect security breaches.
Xapo Policy on Anonymity
Unfortunately, if you are looking for a bitcoin debit card that can allow you to undertake transactions anonymously, Xapo may not be the best option. Xapo reserves the right to verify an account owner’s identity and in conducting security procedures protect the account. This is not necessarily bad but if you are planning to get a debit card so you can use your supposedly anonymous bitcoins, it would be better to look alternatives.
Fees and Charges
Ordering the Xapo debit card costs 20 USD, 18 EUR, or 13 GBP. There’s also an annual fee of 12 USD, 10 EUR, or 7 GBP . The first year’s annual fee is waived (free). For the delivery options, you can get your Xapo debit card with any charge if you choose the standard delivery option (25 days, sans tracking). If you choose the Express delivery option, though, there’s a charge of 55 USD, 50 EUR, or 35 GBP.
For withdrawal fees, there’s a 2.50 USD/2.25 EUR/1.75 GBP fee charged if you make an ATM withdrawal in the card’s currency (the currency you chose). If you make an ATM withdrawal in another currency, the fee is slightly higher at 3.50 USD/2.75 EUR/2.25 GBP. Moreover, there’s also a 3% foreign exchange fee imposed for ATM withdrawals made in other currencies.
When it comes to shopping or spending fees, there is no charge for purchases made in the card’s currency. If the purchase is in a different currency, a 3% spending fee is charged. This 3% spending fee is the same as the 3% foreign exchange fee mentioned above.
Other fees you need to know are as follows:
Just like other bitcoin debit cards, Xapo also comes with limits. Only 5, 10, and 20 in-store purchase transactions and online purchases are allowed per day, per week, and per month respectively. For ATM withdrawals, only 2, 14, and 56 withdrawals are allowed daily, weekly, and monthly (respectively). The maximum amount of ATM withdrawals allowed for standard accounts are 200 USD, 200 EUR, OR 180 GBP. Also, total ATM withdrawal per day is capped at 400 USD, 400 EUR, or 320 GBP. The lifetime spending limit, on the other hand, is set at 1,000 USD, 1.000 EUR, or 800 GBP.
These limits can be lifted by sending your personal documentation (upgrading). For an upgraded account, there are no more limits imposed in the number of in-store and online purchases allowed although the limits for the number of allowed ATM withdrawals are maintained at 2 per day, 14 per week, and 56 per month. Also, the maximum amount of transactions per withdrawal is raised to 1,000 USD, 1,000 EUR, or 800 GBP. The total daily ATM withdrawal amount limit is increased to 2,000 USD, 2,000 EUR, or 1,600 GBP. There is however a limit of 10,000 USD/ 10,000 EUR/ 8,000 GBP per purchase and a maximum spending amount of 20,000 USD/ 20,000 EUR/ 16,000 GBP per day.
Moreover, only one Xapo bitcoin debit card is allowed per person.
How to Add Funds and Make Withdrawals
The process of adding funds into your Xapo account is simple. Just go to your account dashboard and click on the Add Funds button. Indicate the currency you want to add and just follow the steps that will be presented. A 1% fee is charged for adding funds to your account.
You may also buy bitcoins and just transfer it to your different wallets. Your Xapo account is like a mini currency exchange platform that can quickly convert your bitcoins into other currencies.
Withdrawals are done by clicking on the Send button. This is the Xapo funds transfer function that lets you send your funds to a bitcoin wallet address or to another Xapo account. Just follow the instructions and you should be able to quickly complete the process. Take note, though, that you will be asked for your password when doing this (not the PIN).
For customer support, you need to be logged in to your Xapo account so you can use the ticket system. To open a support ticket, click on the persistent Help button (the black button with a speech bubble and question mark inside) on the lower right corner of the site. You will be directed to the Xapo knowledge base as you do this, wherein you can ask questions or browse through the collection of questions and answers therein. Notice that there is no ticket form here. We actually couldn’t find the Contact Us button or link on the site.
What you can just do is to add the “contact-us” part in the Xapo Support URL or enter this URL https://support.xapo.com/contact-us/.
On the other hand, if you have legal concerns, you can send an email directly to Xapo’s legal team using the following email address: [email protected]
Customer service on Xapo is available 24/7.
Pros and Cons
- Accepts registrations from most countries worldwide, inclulding the United States
- Good security system (PIN code required, second factor authentication, and verification code needed when accessing the account from a new device)
- Extensive knowledge base or Help resource (under the Support page), 24/7 customer support
- Xapo Vault – highly secure place for storing bitcoins
- No virtual card, only plastic debit card available
- 1% fee for adding funds
- There’s a fee to change your PIN
Xapo is one of the most attractive options if you are looking for a bitcoin debit card. It accepts users from almost all parts of the world and supports an extensive range of currencies. The card price is reasonable and can be delivered to you for free within 25 days. Its fees and charges are competitive. The security measures in place are dependable. It’s just unfortunate that Xapo does not offer a virtual card.