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As we continue to analyze the best and worst features of the current crop of crypto exchanges and investment platforms, our experts have signed up for Wirex.
This is a Web, Android and iOS hybrid crypto investment and payment ecosystem with integrated multi-chain exchange elements.
Based on weeks of testing Wirex’s multitude of features, payment systems, and investment offerings, our final verdict is Yes.
Wirex is clearly aiming to be all things to all people by offering fiat and digital on and off-ramps coupled with a digital and physical payment card.
There is also a separate cross-chain non-custodial Web3 wallet for enhanced DeFi, NFT and dApps functions.*
Let’s investigate the benefits of this multi-functional platform, while addressing a few key deficiencies, including a confusing array of country restrictions and an overly complex rewards system.
|Security And Safety
|Pricing And Fees
|Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
Who Wirex Is Best For?
Full Wirex functionality is predominately for users in the UK, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, but the company continues to pursue additional countries as financial legislation permits.
On the account side, Wirex is best for those who want the highest level of ID requirements and traditional finance-style security and insurance.
This is the reason for our rating of 5 in our “requirements” category. This is a 10 for some people, and a 1 for the next group below.
The Wirex all-in-one app is great for beginners who would like quick access to a wide range of functions that remove much of the manual management needed when switching between fiat, cryptos, exchanges and particularly DeFi staking.
Wirex is also a great option for frequent travelers or digital nomads who can take advantage of fiat currency swaps and Wirex’s free ATM withdrawals and free foreign exchange (FX) fees.
Who Wirex Is Not For?
The Wirex card is not available in Canada or Latin America, among several other regions. While available in the U.S., New York is still prohibited.
Additionally, some account and crypto services are restricted based on jurisdiction, so it’s always important to check your local regulations to confirm usability in your location.
You can see the full breakdown of options available in your country here.
In general, Wirex accounts and the debit card (integrated with Visa and Mastercard) are not a great option for those who most of all value privacy and anonymity for their crypto transactions.
It is also not an ideal solution for advanced traders – particularly day-traders – who desire the most state-of-the-art trading and analysis tools.
Wirex Features Explained
Security and Safety
Wirex is fully licensed and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of Lithuania and by the MAS in Singapore.
Customer accounts at Wirex are secured by identity verification and 2FA authentication as an added choice.
Even more important, customer account assets are individually held in cold storage, multi-signature and fully insured, giving customers $30 million in funds that are verifiably protected.
The entire Wirex platform is further guarded from hacking and cyber-attacks with Fireblocks, which utilizes a multi-cloud architecture for distributed data security, as well as multi-layer protection for all keys and transactions. Wirex is also compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Data is not shared with third parties, all data is encrypted in transit, and requests are accepted to have data deleted.
The separate Wirex non-custodial cross-chain wallet has high-level security by utilizing multi-party computation, which permits the sharing of tasks without sharing user data.
This also eliminates the vulnerability of cumbersome seed phrases which are prone to being lost or stolen, particularly when using mobile apps.
Opening An Account With Wirex
Signing up at Wirex is free and available in 12 languages, but this is one major area that will be contentious for many users.
The initial signup process for most crypto services and exchanges is no-KYC, email only, for login and basic functions, with unlockable levels that require more stringent identity verification.
Not Wirex: it’s full KYC right from the beginning with even more additional verification as levels progress.
The Cryptoback™ program rewards all Standard users with up to 0.5% earnings on card transactions, payable in the Wirex native token WXT. All users are also immediately eligible for special merchant offers.
Premium and Elite levels unlock additional benefits, including 3% and 8% in the Cryptoback™ program respectively, with the Premium level also offering up to a 6% savings bonus; Elite adds up to a 16% savings bonus and 20% APR on “X-Accounts,” which function as interest-bearing savings accounts for supported fiat currencies and crypto.
The DUO program offers high-yield fixed returns on staking for 100 crypto pairs by utilizing the “Grow” section of the app. Up to 400%+ APR is advertised.
Wirex Multiply is the lending area within the “Grow” section of the app, which offers leveraged trades with higher exposure risk in multiples of 5-50X.
Referral bonuses for app downloads are available.
Pricing & Fees
Due to its wide range of functionality, the fee structure can be complicated to pin down and keep track of.
On the crypto side, Wirex aggregates various liquidity pools and exchanges, then offers in-app rates based on currency pairs. Rates are clearly displayed in the app and there are no added commissions.
Transfers between Wirex users and off-chain transfers are free, but transfers to external wallets are based on variable network fees. There is a 1% crypto top-up fee.
On the card side, it begins with free signup, but physical card delivery can carry a fee depending on location. ATM withdrawals are generally free up to around $250 USD per month and 2% of any amount in excess.
Please keep in mind that these are Wirex fees only, so traditional bank charges will also be applied. Full fee schedule is available here.
There are monthly “X-tras” programs available as well. Standard programs are free and include Entry and Enhanced levels.
Premium is priced at $9.99 per month; Elite at $29.99 per month. Plans, tiers and benefits can be found here.
Wirex Multiply adds a “rollover fee” that is charged on the borrowed amount every hour. In one example given by Wirex, the BTC/USDT rollover fee is at 0.003% such that 0.003%*14 = 0.00042 BTCs charged every hour.
Funding your account can be done with any of 173 digital assets currently listed, including a variety of stablecoins and DeFi tokens, or one of 16 traditional currencies via bank transfer, or by linking your debit and/or credit card.
Fiat withdrawals can be made via bank transfer, ATM with Wirex card, and cryptocurrency withdrawals are available in-wallet or to external addresses.
Switching Between Currencies and Blockchains
Moving between supported assets is easy and quick with an array of fiat, cryptocurrencies, and multiple blockchains for tokens and stablecoins (Ethereum, Polygon, Tron, Arbitrum, Optimism, BSC, Fantom, and Avalanche).
History Of Downtime
Wirex has a dedicated area for downtime transparency with a full history of reported incidents, available here. Historical uptime is 100% over the last 90 days.
Incident reports also add details about specific problems and resolution dates. Overall, Wirex has been a very stable platform with only limited issues surrounding individual function disruptions and maintenance.
It is important to remember that the Wirex app and card are centralized stores of funds. This is indicated in some of the negative customer reviews which point to frozen accounts due to verification issues and other withdrawal delays.
These concerns continue to be addressed by customer support and do seem to have been better handled since the peak of complaints around 2019-2021.
Live support is available 24/7 in-app, ticket submission for help desk, e-mail and on social channels. A Discord and forum are also available.
Most impressive is seeing Wirex customer support in the Google Play, Apple store, and consumer review sites respond to any complaints, as well as adding context.
Wirex has also garnered a respectable 3.5 stars on Trustpilot. Most reviews fall at either end of the spectrum.
Most of the 1-star reviews, however, center around typical security flags that will temporarily suspend accounts and are more likely in our estimation to be the fault of regulatory compliance than Wirex error or malfeasance.
Wirex vs. Alternatives
|free ATM up to $250, free FX
|free ATM to $200, 3% FX
|no use fees U.S., $2.50 ATM, 3% FTX
|Security Rating (CER)
|UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific
|US, Europe, South America, Middle East
|US, CAN, UK, Africa
|Crypto.com (QR to download)
Wirex is among the most comprehensive and flexible platforms available for easily acquiring, trading, earning and using cryptocurrency on a daily basis.
The full integration of fiat and crypto through digital and real-world applications is simple, fully regulated and secure.
Nearly 10 years of company history – which includes being the first ever to launch a physical crypto debit card – has resulted in a moderately deep user pool of 6 million customers.
However, regional limitations and full KYC just to sign up and test their services are huge barriers to entry. There also have been reports of ongoing re-verification requirements that can lead to hassles at best and temporarily frozen accounts at worst.
Although this app is designed as one-stop shopping, particularly for beginners, the complexities of the pricing and fee structure, combined with a multi-tiered rewards program of various rates and limits can be daunting.
Nevertheless, the user interface is simple and clean, customer service is readily available and responsive, and for those who feel most secure with KYC, a regulated financial product, and the assurance of segregated and insured customer holdings, this is a largely worry-free place to put your funds.
Wirex also offers a thorough selection of tutorials, educational materials, investment advice, news and reports that will be helpful for all levels of crypto knowledge.
Lastly, according to the most recent roadmap from Wirex, much more is due to be rolled out in the coming months and years.
This is a positive indication that additional investment and innovation is being pursued with a clear vision for bringing new improvements and products to the market.
We will continue to monitor any new developments and keep readers updated about this impressively large ecosystem.
*Some of the links for the Wirex Wallet now link to COCA in app stores. Some people at this Reddit thread have speculated that this could be due to an upcoming rebrand, while others claim it to be a phishing attempt. We have reached out to Wirex for clarification and will update readers with the latest information. In the meantime, it is safest to go directly to the Google or Apple stores for wallet downloads.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Does Wirex Offer for Crypto Users?
Digital and plastic card for real-world and online purchases. Buy and trade crypto and fiat. Card rewards program payable in native token. Interest-bearing savings via “X-Account.”
Staking for high-yield passive income via DUO with 100 pairs available in duration from 12 hours to 7 days. Wirex Multiply leveraged exposure program.
How Does Wirex Protect Its Users and Their Assets?
Identity verification and 2FA authentication. Device verification options.
Entire platform is protected by Fireblocks cybersecurity. Fully regulated and insured with segregated user accounts held in cold storage, multi-signature. No third-party data sharing, and encrypted data transfers.
What Are the Costs Associated with Using Wirex?
The app is free and there are no formal trading commissions with Wirex, but there are additional fees applied to specific uses of the card, rewards program, savings accounts and lending and borrowing.