CoinJar flashes Bitcoin debit card

Normal EFTPOS fees apply
Credit: CoinJar

Credit: CoinJar

While Apple works to turn credit cards digital, an Australian startup is turning Bitcoin into a piece of plastic.

CoinJar has today announced a trial of a Bitcoin debit card called Swipe that lets users pay with bitcoins like they would with traditional money.

CoinJar, featured last year in a Techworld Australia startup snapshot, is a Melbourne-based startup that has developed a digital wallet that lets people buy, sell and accept Bitcoin as a merchant.

CoinJar will distribute 100 Swipe cards for the trial to pre-registered CoinJar customers and the trial is set to begin next week. CoinJar hasn’t set a date for a wider rollout but said it would occur “in the near future”.

The startup partnered with prepaid payments company emerchants to develop the card.

The cards work at any merchant that accepts EFTPOS, and can be used to withdraw cash from any Australian ATM, Coles and Woolworths, said a CoinJar spokesperson.

The transaction fee for the merchant is the same as any EFTPOS transaction, and the ATM withdrawal fee is the same as any withdrawal from a bank that’s not the customer’s own, she said.

“We created Swipe because we simply wanted to make it easier for our customers to spend their bitcoins,” CoinJar CEO Asher Tan said in a statement. “Swipe demystifies Bitcoin and makes it accessible to everyone through a secure platform.”

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia