The online financial environment is currently in the throes of a quiet revolution. Online payment solutions are quietly usurping incumbent financial institutions, offering savvy individuals the opportunity to send and receive money with extremely innovative and agile platforms with fee structures dramatically lower than that of their contemporary counterparts.
The nascent cryptocurrency industry has accelerated the growth of these new payment platforms, making it possible for crypto investors to access their Bitcoin and altcoins directly through the use of intelligent debit cards.
One of the biggest advantages offered by these new financial platforms is the ability to send money around the world instantaneously without the large fees and waiting times associated with traditional financial institutions. Telegraphic transfers and direct account-to-account money transfers with most banks around the world can take several working days, and are weighed down by excess charges.
Other older payment platforms such a PayPal, while functioning as pioneers of the online payment solution industry, are now less focused on delivering value to their users and more intent on extracting as much profit as possible from their established user base with fees, holding times, and delays.
There are now many different avenues available to financially-savvy individuals seeking to minimize the time and money it takes to transfer funds between accounts, either domestically or internationally. One of the most promising new payment solution platform to launch in recent years is uPayCard, a London-based provider that has been refining their approach to dynamic payment solutions since 2013.
uPayCard has recently captured our attention for their relatively recent addition of Bitcoin as a loading solution. In this article, we’ll take a look at the uPayCard platform and find out what it offers to help you decide whether it’s the right online payment solution for you.
What Is uPayCard?
Founded in London in 2013, uPayCard is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Operating as an online payment solutions provider, uPayCard focuses on streamlining the process of international payment transfers and prepaid payment solutions.
The uPayCard platform functions in a similar manner to most e-wallet systems, and supports a variety of online transactions in addition to separate virtual or plastic Mastercard accounts. At the time of their 2013 launch, uPayCard experienced a somewhat bumpy start, offering consumers a confusing product with complex terms and fees that slowed their initial growth.
Over the last few years, uPayCard has responded to consumer feedback regarding their platform and the mistakes of their competitors, such as Skrill and Neteller, and have completely overhauled their fee structure. The resulting fee structure is greatly reduced and, in many cases, has been completely eliminated, making it an extremely attractive option to individuals seeking a comprehensive online payment platform.
The uPayCard system is broken down into two simple offerings- the uPayCard Wallet, and the uPayCard Card. The uPayCard Wallet is an e-wallet solution that provides users with the ability to transfer funds to a secure location, which can then be used to load the uPayCard Card.
uPayCard offer both virtual and physical cards, which are powered by Mastercard. Virtual cards are priced at €5 EUR, while physical cards are provided free of charge to uPayCard wallet holders. Account access to the uPayCard wallet is protected with two-factor security that consists of an encrypted password and KeyCode.
The most attractive feature of the uPayCard platform is the ability to send and receive instantly-accessible funds between uPayCard accounts internationally at no cost. uPayCard provide a long list of services completely free, including account creation, balance checking both online and via SMS, online statement generation, and uPayCard Card issuance.
Interestingly, bank and wire transfer loading into uPayCard platform is also free, which is uncommon in the online payment platform industry. Unlike other online payment solutions, uPayCard doesn’t charge a monthly account fee, and has no inactivity charges, making it ideal for infrequent users.
uPayCard And Bitcoin
The uPayCard platform has recently adopted Bitcoin as a loading method, making it a viable option for individuals seeking fast and simple access to Bitcoin as fiat currency. There are many dedicated Bitcoin debit card solutions on the market today, but they lack the flexibility that uPayCard offers as a payment platform unto itself.
With the addition of Bitcoin as a loading method, uPayCard can be used as a powerful way to both manage finances and use Bitcoin to either purchase products from online merchants that don’t accept the cryptocurrency, or use Bitcoin to withdraw cash internationally.
uPayCard charge a 1% fee on standard market BTC conversion rates for loading, which is fairly standard in the Bitcoin debit card sector.
Fees & Terms
Aside from the free services offered by uPayCard, the platform also provides extremely competitive rates overall. Loading a uPayCard account with a Mastercard or Visa costs between 1.2% to 2.9%, while Wechat, Alipay, and UnionPay transfer loading rates are all set at 1.2%. Bitcoin loading is the cheapest, at the aforementioned 1% rate.
Withdrawing from uPayCard accounts is fairly standard for the online payment platform industry, with the exception of ATM withdrawals. Most e-wallet card solutions or Bitcoin debit cards differentiate between domestic and international ATM withdrawals- the uPayCard platform charges a flat fee of €3.5 EUR per withdrawal, regardless of location. ATM balance inquiry is set at €1 EUR.
The foreign exchange rate offered by uPayCard is set at 3%. When combined with the value offered by free online purchases and no account keeping fees, however, these fairly standard industry rates are extremely attractive.
The uPayCard platform does require verification from its users. Some Bitcoin debit card solutions don’t require verification, but despite the anonymity they provide, are extremely limited in terms of ATM withdrawal and loading capacity. Gaining full account access and functionality with uPayCard necessitates the submission of documents that adhere to Know Your Customer procedures, such as government-issued identification, proof of address, as well as mobile number and email verification.
Verified uPayCard accounts are able to access up to 900 ATM withdrawals every 24 hours, a maximum weekly ATM withdrawal limit of €6300 EUR, and up to €100,000 EUR in purchases monthly.
When viewed as a comprehensive all-in-one online wallet solution with added physical card functionality, the uPayCard platform is an intelligently constructed option that offers the additional benefit of Bitcoin loading. While the extra step between loading the uPayCard e-wallet and transferring loaded funds to the uPayCard card may seem unnecessary to some, it provides security-minded individuals with an added layer of protection.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective online payment solution with a competitive fee structure and basic Bitcoin loading functionality, uPayCard is a great option. If you’re more interested in dedicated Bitcoin or cryptocurrency debit cards, take a look at our article on The Top 7 Best Bitcoin Debit Cards.