Wirex allows you to buy, exchange, and earn using cryptocurrency or fiat currencies. The mobile app sports a no-frills interface, making it easy to understand and shortening the learning curve for new users, which is its target market.
Wirex is best known for being one of the first platforms in the space to offer a crypto debit card, allowing you to spend your crypto worldwide, just like fiat currency, providing you convert it into the local fiat currency on the app first.
With Wirex you can purchase cryptocurrencies using credit/debit cards, an external account or wallet, or the proprietary Wirex wallet, giving you great freedom of choice with how you buy your cryptocurrency.
The core features of the Wirex platform are:
- Wirex debit card: Wirex’s contactless payment card allows you to seamlessly buy, spend, and earn with various crypto and fiat currencies.
- Instant exchange: Wirex allows you to exchange crypto or fiat at live OTC and interbank rates.
- Cryptoback rewards: You can get up to 8% cryptocurrency rewards with every in-store transaction you make with the Wirex card.
- Quick and simple money transfer: Wirex allows you to quickly transfer cryptocurrencies across the world at relatively low costs.
What is Wirex?
Wirex is a digital payment platform that launched in 2014 under the name E-Coin, operating at the crossroads between digital currencies and fiat.
The company aims to provide similar services to traditional financial institutions, such as debit card issuance, currency exchanges and the like, enabling the use of cryptocurrencies in the daily lives of its users.
Wirex offers users the ability to buy, sell, store, invest, and exchange cryptocurrencies using an intuitive and easy-to-use platform and enticing bonus features. Some aspects of its platform are regulated, but not all, which is something that new users should be aware of before they consider opening an account.
Wirex has grown to become one of the biggest competitors in its field, now serving 3.1 million users across 130 nations, with its Visa/Mastercard debit card still proving very popular for first timers.
Step-by-step guide to buying crypto at Wirex
Purchasing cryptocurrency on Wirex is a very straightforward process – if you’ve bought anything on an e-commerce site, you’ll find the Wirex process easy to handle. Wirex has had many years to design a seamless path to purchasing cryptocurrencies, and it has been time well spent. All you need to do is follow these steps:
Step 1 – Register
You can choose to register through Wirex’s website or download the mobile app. There’s no distinct advantage to either method initially, though bear in mind you’ll have to take selfies to identify yourself later in the process.
On Wirex’s website/app (make sure you’re on the official one) you’ll find the “Open an Account” button prominently displayed. Click it to access the sign-up page.
Here, you’ll be required to submit your country of residence, email address, and password, and agree to Wirex’s terms and conditions.
Once done, Wirex will send you a verification email to your submitted email address. Click on the “Verify email” button in the email to activate your account.
Step 2 – Identity verification
Wirex requires you to submit one of the following forms of identification:
- National Identity Card
- Driver’s License
- Residence permit
You’ll be required to take photos of the front and back of your documents as part of the verification process. Make sure there is no glare in the document or you’ll have to take another photo!
Once this is done, you’ll be required to take a selfie to prove that you’re the same person as in your identification (if you don’t have a webcam you can use your phone for this bit).
Once you submit your application, simply keep an eye on your email for confirmation, which Wirex states can take up to 24 hours. However, the internet is littered with instances where registrants have had to try multiple times before getting their accounts approved, or have waited for days after submission with no response, so bear this in mind before you try.
Step 3 – Buy cryptocurrency
Once your Wirex account is verified you’ll have access to Wirex’s features. Click “Add Accounts” and search for your preferred fiat or cryptocurrency account. Click on it and follow the prompts to add your payment details to the account.
Once the account is opened, select the account, tap “Add funds”, and select the bank account or card you want to use to top up.
If you choose a linked card, you can finish the transaction through the Wirex app.
If you choose an external cryptocurrency or currency account, you’ll be given the details required to transfer funds to your Wirex account from the external platform. With regulations becoming tougher, you may find at this point that you are asked questions about the source of your funds or your intent behind buying cryptocurrency.
Enter the amount of cryptocurrency you want to purchase and complete the transaction.
Sending cryptocurrency to your external wallet
Withdrawing funds from Wirex to your wallet of choice is super easy:
Step 1 – Select the crypto account you want to transfer funds from
Step 2 – Select “Send” from the list of actions at the bottom
Step 3 – Input your wallet address as the “recipient”, add a memo/destination tag (if required), and select “Continue”
Step 4 – Select the network associated with the address if the cryptocurrency uses multiple chains.
Step 5 – Click “Pay”
Step 6 – Input the verification code you receive in an SMS to complete the transaction
How to sell/swap cryptocurrency at Wirex
Wirex has also made it very easy to sell or swap your cryptocurrencies too:
Step 1 – Open the desktop or mobile app and access your account.
Step 2 – Click the “exchange” button to access the exchange page.
Step 3 – Select the cryptocurrency you want to sell/swap and input the amount.
Step 4 – Review your transaction details, click “Confirm”, and wait for the trade to be executed. Once it is done, you’ll find your funds in your wallet
What is the Wirex app?
Wirex’s app is straightforward and is the easiest way to use the associated debit card. The card doesn’t sell your crypto for you when you buy something, so you have to fund the card with fiat currency before you use it. You can do this by selling crypto for the local currency and transferring it from your wallet account to the card account, which just takes a few seconds.
The app has a rating of 3.7/5 in the Apple App Store and 3.8 in the Google Play Store. Most of the complaints center around the identification process and the customer support, but the majority of reviews of the app itself are very positive.
Does Wirex offer many cryptocurrencies?
Wirex supports a total of 53 cryptocurrencies at the time of writing covering payment coins, platform tokens, metaverse coins, and many more.
Wirex even has its own token, The Wirex Token (WXT), which it calls the “lifeblood of the Wirex platform”. The coin gives holders the power to unlock exclusive rewards, such as enhanced crypto cashback, savings bonus, merchant discounts, as well as opening up a “gateway” into the DeFi sector.
Is Wirex safe?
Wirex’s PCI DSS Level 1 certification implies that a high level of protection is available to users. Protection is provided online and offline thanks to its 3D enrollment features.
Additionally, Wirex uses TLS and 265-bit AES encryption to offer extra security to all customer personal data through two-factor authentication.
As an entity, Wirex has never been hacked, but users should take the usual precautions when securing their accounts. As Wirex is a centralized entity it could freeze your account if it suspects illegal behavior, or is instructed to by a government agency.
Fees at Wirex
Wirex has a range of fees on its platform, although many are free:
- 1% transaction fee for external debit/credit card top-up for crypto accounts
- $10 fee for physical card in U.S. (free for Europe)
- Crypto exchange services attract over-the-counter rates, a 1% commission, and a spread that varies depending on the rates from exchanges or forex brokers.
- Blockchain fees apply to withdrawals
Wirex customer support
Wirex’s Help Center is a one-stop shop for quick and practical solutions to any questions you may have, although most of these are already answered in its blog.
Although Wirex doesn’t provide a dedicated customer support number, it offers dedicated 24/7 live chat support. Wirex also has a vibrant community that can provide answers to your questions.
Despite these options, customer support is one area Wirex falls down on. A large percentage of complaints about the company arising from issues people have had when dealing with Wirex support, which is problematic seeing as many users will be first timers who need more help than others.
In the main, Wirex achieves what it has always set out to achieve – to offer crypto novices a trusted and safe platform that allows them to acquaint themselves with the crypto space. It has first mover advantage and generally seems to retain its users, who by and large offer positive reviews about their experiences.
Wirex will never be a service appreciated by advanced crypto users, but there are plenty out there for them, and Wirex probably has a bigger target market with the ‘first timers’ brigade, whom it generally services well.
If Wirex can sort out its customer service issues and its KYC process, it should continue to dominate this corner of the market for many years to come.