BitPay, one of the companies affected by Visa suspending the status of the WaveCrest debit card provider this Friday, has released an announcement about the event today, on Saturday. In the statement, the company reassures its customers that the funds they had stored on their BitPay cards at the time of closure are safe, and will be eventually returned to them.
This comes after similar updates issued by Bitwala and Wirex, whose business was also impacted.
Visa inadvertently disables cryptocurrency cards
In an unexpected turn of events, yesterday, Jan. 5, Visa required WaveCrest, a Europe-based debit card issuer to “to immediately close all [its] Visa cards." As a result, a number of cryptocurrency card providers that relied on WaveCrest for transaction processing have been forced to suspend their services as well, including BitPay, Bitwala, TenX and Wirex.
In a statement regarding its decision, Visa said:
"[We] recently terminated a single prepaid card issuer in Europe from our network for violating Visa's operating regulations. That issuer, WaveCrest, was required to close its Visa card products, some of which were linked to cryptocurrency wallets."
Funds safe, refunds pending
Bitwala and Wirex have already issued their statements on Visa’s decision this Friday. Both companies reiterated the fact that neither Visa nor WaveCrest have given them enough warning to prepare for the hasty discontinuation of service. Moreover, they claim that the users’ money is safe, and will be refunded in due time.
Now, BitPay has joined in with an update of their own. In the statement, the card provider announces that all its non-US cards have been deactivated and will not be available for further payments or withdrawals.
Fortunately for cardholders, BitPay claimed that they “will get a refund for ending card balance and for any outstanding card loads.” Additionally, everyone who ordered their card after Dec. 1, 2017, will have the card order fee refunded to them as well.
Going forward, BitPay, similarly to Bitwala and Wirex, claims that it is “already in discussions” with potential alternative card issuers that will allow the company to resume its cryptocurrency debit card services in near future.
It is worth noting that Visa’s most recent decision to suspend the status of WaveCrest is seemingly unrelated to the latter’s dealings with cryptocurrency services providers. As per the official statement made by Visa:
“Our actions were not specific to cryptocurrency, but rather reflect the [WaveCrest’s] failure to comply with Visa's policies that ensure the safety and integrity of our payment system."