Singaporean fintech launches USDC-powered Visa card with Swiss bank Fiat24

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Singaporean fintech SafePal has made an investment into Swiss bank Fiat24 and jointly launched a crypto Visa card and in-app banking service with US Coin (USDC) as the default deposit currency. 

According to the March 7 announcement, the feature will be live on version 4.5.0 of the SafePal mobile wallet, subject to approval from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. “Unlike typical Visa cards, the transactions on-chain on [USDC] Arbitrum provide a transparent, immutable ledger with faulty transfers reversible—but faulty transfers can still be reversed with our banking system,” said Yang Lan, co-founder of Fiat24.

Meanwhile, Veronica Wong, CEO and co-founder of SafePal, explained that after users create a USDC mobile wallet, the funds can then be sent to accounts at traditional financial institutions. In addition, users can swap crypto across more than 40 blockchains into their bank accounts and use fiat money, like the U.S. dollar, euro, or Swiss Franc, for transactions and expenses. Developers further stated:

“After creating the bank accounts in the SafePal mobile wallet, the credentials are minted as NFTs on Arbitrum (an Ethereum Layer 2 rollup), ensuring all related transactions are securely and transparently recorded on-chain. The crypto Visa cards are also linked to third-party payment platforms like Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, enhancing the convenience for users.”

SafePal currently operates as a self-custody wallet and claims it has approximately 10 million users worldwide. Shortly after the crypto winter of 2021-2022, the firm’s CEO Veronica Wong told Cointelegraph that “the malpractice of centralized platforms has indeed catalyzed the adoption of self-custody solutions. This should not just be a temporary surge of interest, but a key impetus to strengthen the adoption of self-management for assets.”

Since the collapse of centralized finance entities such as FTX and Celsius, self-custody wallets have been rising in popularity. On Dec. 7, 2023, Jack Dorsey’s Block launched a self-custody wallet solution with access in over 95 countries. On Aug. 10, 2023, cross-chain wallet BitKeep changed its name to Bitget Wallet after securing a $30 million investment from the exchange to grow its multichain swap platform. 

Related: How to set up and create an Ethereum wallet