MCO Visa Card Update | Wirecard Suspension | New Issuer | Changes to Referral Program | Upgrade Fee Waiver

The MCO Visa Card is a fine debit card giving a nice crypto rebate of between 1% to 8%, depending on your card tier. I wrote about it previously, and I actively use it to pay for purchases like insurance (2% rebate on Ruby), groceries (10% rebate) and Grab (10% rebate).

However, there are some new changes to the card, especially since Wirecard – their card issuer – filed for insolvency.

Background

To give you guys a quick summary, Wirecard basically filed for insolvency in June this year after its auditors found 1.9B Euros of cash on its balance sheet missing.

Following the revelations of accounting fraud, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement in September ordering it to cease payment services in Singapore and to return all customers’ funds by 14 October 2020.

Wirecard had informed MAS that it was unable to continue providing payment processing services to a significant number of merchants, and MAS assessed that it was in the public interest to cease all payments services and reimburse all customers’ funds.

Crypto.com – the company operating the MCO Visa Card program – issued a communications letter to suspend debit and credit card top-ups for the MCO Visa Card, although spending the card balance will still work as usual.

Migration program to Railsbank

Shortly after, Crypto.com issued another communications letter saying that they have transitioned the card issuing program to PayrNet (Railsbank) although users can only purchase goods and services from merchants registered as a Singapore entity.

This means that recurring subscriptions for merchants based outside of Singapore such as Spotify and Netflix will fail until these services are reinstated at a later date.

Railsbank is an open banking and compliance platform with card issuing capabilities. It has signed a 5 year partnership with Visa and recently became a Visa principal issuing member.

With this new partnership and issuing program by Railsbank and the process already completed, I think customer impact is likely to be low.

I’ve seen some inconveniences such as payment failures on certain non-Singapore merchants (e.g. Apple Store), but most payments like transportation continue to work for now.

Changes to referral program

They will also be reducing the referral rewards from US$50 to US$25 from next month. This means that new sign ups for the metal cards with 100% Spotify/Netflix/Amazon rebates will be slightly more costly since you will be able to offset less with the new referral program.

No card upgrade fees until 31 October 2020

They are also waiving the upgrade fee for cards until 31 October 2020. This is usually a one-time payment of S$50 if you already own a card.

If you were considering an upgrade to the next tier, it’s a perfect opportunity to save on that cash.

Overall thoughts

I think Crypto.com has done a great job in its communication for the most part, especially with the suspension of Wirecard’s services done in relatively short notice. Transition to the new issuer was also quite smooth and I didn’t feel any operational issues when using the card.

Obviously top-ups now are a pain since debit/credit card top-ups are suspended. There are alternative ways, but they are complicated to use for the average person.

The most likely course of action is to just wait it out until they restore that functionality.

I also foresee competition in the crypto-debit card space coming in the coming months from Binance/Swipe which will definitely put pressure on them.

Until then, they are offering a nice upgrade fee-waiver for those looking to upgrade their cards, although I wished they would have temporarily given a discount for these card upgrades, maybe a 10% off for CRO staking requirements.

MCO Card Sign up and Referral Bonus

If you are interested to get for yourself the MCO Visa Card, you can use this referral link and input the referral code h6xukdg2ch. You will receive US$50 ($70 SGD) if you stake at least 1,000 CRO for the MCO Visa Card, which can be used to offset your staking requirement.

With this referral, your cost of owning a Ruby Red card is much lower, and you should be able to break even much faster with the rebates on your Spotify subscription.

No bonuses if you didn’t, but you can within 10 days of confirming your email still input the referral code via App Settings -> Referral Code to get your bonus.

If you’re interested to find out how I make full use of the MCO card, check out my strategy here.

Use this free spreadsheet to calculate your returns based on your spending habits.

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