Bitmama joins a growing list of cryptocurrency card providers in Africa

Bitmama now offers physical crypto debit cards, which enable users to use their cryptocurrencies to pay in real time without the need to convert to fiat. It joins the growing number of African crypto debit card providers.

Earlier in November 2021, the Delaware-headquartered crypto exchange had launched virtual crypto debit cards on its cross-border payments platform Changera.

These virtual and physical crypto debit cards (or plastic) are in line with Bitmama’s ambition to “onboard the next billion cryptousers by building lifestyles crypto products, and pushing the narrative about crypto beyond trading”.

It’s a noble ambition and well-deserved. The main idea of most crypto conversations revolves around buying the low and earning the high. Bitmama doesn’t have to be the only one striving to change this story. LazerPay, Nestcoin and other startups are supporting crypto mainstream.

According to the 2021 Chainalysis Geography of Cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency is most used in Africa for three reasons: remittances; international commercial transactions; and hedge against inflation or harsh economic conditions. You must convert crypto into fiat to accomplish any of these.

“Imagine the possibility that you can perform online transactions directly with coins” writes Ruth Iselema, founder and CEO of Bitmama. You don’t need to imagine it, we’ve made it possible with Bitmama’s crypto cards. Bitmama was founded by Ruth in 2016, after she lost some money on crypto trading.

It is difficult to pay international money for an average African. This was quite evident during our team’s recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya for the African Tech Summit. While we paid for our flight tickets, visa fees, Airbnb, Bolt rides, and literally all forms of online payments with our Bitmama’s virtual crypto cards, making the in-store payment was difficult as our local naira debit cards kept declining on POS devices and ATMs due to the $100/month FX spending limit on local cards, which has been recently lowered to $20/month by several local banks in Nigeria. We had to resort, as it is difficult to get local currency, to convert to local currency at the BDC. This was the experience for most international visitors to the event. They kept coming back to our booth to request physical cards. We are pleased to announce that our physical crypto-cards are now available and will be here for a long time. These cards can be requested by anyone.

— Chief Operating Officer at Bitmama, Akinbola Asalu

Additionally, Changera Bitmama offers peer-to-peer, buy crypto, pay later, and other features. Bitmama was launched in October 2021. announced with its $350,000 pre-seed it had over 15,000 clients across Changera as well as its exchange products. Bitmama stated that it will expand to Europe, Kenya, and other Francophone countries. It’s active currently in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Like the virtual crypto cards, the physical cards can be funded with stable coins — USDT, USDC and USD. Additionally, the monthly spending limit is more than $10,000. That’s 9,900% more than what was previously stated. limit on fiat debit cards.

Additional benefits and features of the physical crypto card include:

  • A minimum deposit of $7 is required in order to obtain one, but there is no minimum deposit. However, the issuance fee for this card is $7. Anyone who has completed the verification process on Bitmama can request one. If they pre-ordered before April 30, 2022, they will receive a 10% discount on their issuance fees.
  • They can be used to make online payments via Bolt, Uber and Spotify as well as eBay, Facebook and AWS.
  • They are also available for in-store payment options, such as POS terminals
  • These can be used to withdraw money from ATMs all over the globe
  • They will be shipped anywhere in the globe. Users will only be charged for delivery.
  • You can pre-order the card from the Bitmama app.

There are also other providers of a crypto debit card in Africa

Bitmama claims to be the first mainstream African crypto company to offer physical cards. This claim is impossible to refute, as the other crypto card companies in Africa were not founded or targeted at Africans. First Kudi (formerly Kudi Exchange) is an example. moribund.

In December 2019, First Kudi — the Lagos-based crypto exchange and payments platform owned by TLG Ventures in partnership with Ferrum Network — announced Stanbic IBTC Bank has launched a debit card. Verve debit cards allow users to use fiat currency and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Gemini US Dollar.

Similar to Patricia Technologies Limited, a Nigerian alternative payment company and e-commerce firm, in February 2020. announced the launch of physical cryptocurrency cards. However, Estonia-headquartered startup and its partner bank — Rubies — encountered regulatory bottlenecks that caused them to discontinue the rollout.

Patricia Card, however, was still a wonderful person. Bitcoin debit card Bitmama’s stable currencies (USDT, USDC, and cUSD), are not available on Bitmama’s crypto card. Interestingly, Binance, Coinbase and Crypto.com in Africa, cards are not readily available.

Patricia Technologies Limited. Patricica Bitcoin Debit Cards (Coming Soon)
Screenshot from Patricia’s website

Bitmama cards are ranked top, but there are many other top crypto cards available in Africa.

Crypterium

Cypterium was founded in October 2017 by Austin Kimm (Gleb Markov) and Vladimir Gorbunov (Vlad Gorbunov). It is a mobile application that allows instant cryptocurrency payments. It can be described as “a bank, but for crypto”.

Cypterium virtual and physical debit Visa cards users can use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and cash out at ATMs.

Paycent

Paycent, a mobile wallet, allows users to seamlessly exchange multiple digital assets. It was established in 2016. It is possible to order a physical copy. Paycent Card powered by Mastercard and can be used worldwide via the Paycent app

Paycent Card is not a cryptocurrency debit card like Bitmama and Crypterium but it can be funded by cryptocurrencies.

Uquid

Uquid Card it is a virtual and physical debitcard that can be used to fund with over 40 cryptocurrencies. This includes Bitcoin and alternative coins such as Litecoin.

The company was founded by Tran Hung in 2016. It was also one of three startups featured at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017.

Advcash

Advcash was founded in 2014. It offers e-wallets with prepaid cards and merchant APIs in multiple currencies. ADV cards allow users to spend their Advcash account anywhere.

Club Swan

Club Swan is a membership platform that provides financial services such as e-money issuance, payments, and card services through Nvayo Limited — which is not a bank. It also offers concierge services.

The Club Swan card this is included in your membership. There are no additional costs, such as annual admin fees. DHL Express Global shipping is free for the delivery of your card. Members can also top up their card with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Cryptopay

Cryptopay, founded by Dmitry Gunyashov & George Basiladze in October 2013, is a secure digital platform that allows users to manage both their digital and traditional assets in one place.

And Cryptopay virtual and plastic cards users can spend their cryptocurrency anywhere Visa is accepted. They can be funded using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.

Monolith

Monolith crypto debit card visa powers it and all cryptocurrencies that the card supports are included in the Ethereum ecosystem. Monolith Visa debit cards can be used wherever Visa cards are accepted.

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