As the cryptoverse aims to edge existing traditional financial systems around the clock, it is imperative that both systems converge from the very beginning. To aid the smooth transition from centralization to decentralization, crypto must also adopt similar traditional financial systems. In 2021, NearPay was introduced by the NEAR ecosystem as its first prepaid card and payments widget, which successfully bridged the fiat world to the crypto space.
As the cryptoverse works round the clock to edge existing traditional financial systems, there is the need for both systems to initially intersect and interact.
If crypto must adopt similar traditional financial systems, then the gap between both worlds must be bridged to aid the smooth transition from centralization to decentralization. NearPay has been created to be that bridge.
The NEAR ecosystem introduced NearPay in 2021 as its first prepaid card and payments widget. NearPay links the fiat world to the NEAR ecosystem—and the rest of the crypto space. The financial innovation is both a physical card and a mobile app that allows users to carry out instant fiat and crypto transactions.
Currently, NearPay serves 92 countries and supports 25+ fiat currencies.
NearPay Card: Bringing real-world utility to cryptocurrencies
Powered and secured by Visa, the NearPay prepaid card allows users to spend their cryptos anywhere Visa cards are accepted. A virtual NearPay card works now, but soon you’ll be able to carry a NearPay card around and use it to pay and withdraw money from ATMs.
The NearPay card is available throughout the EEA and the UK and supports up to 38 cryptocurrencies, including NEAR. Users can top their cards with any of these supported cryptos. These cryptos are split into two groups. The first group includes cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Aave (AAVE), Litecoin (LTC), Polygon (MATIC), Ripple (XRP), Tether Coin (USDT), USD Coin (USDT), and Uniswap (UNI).
Users can withdraw these coins to or deposit them from any external wallet. However, cryptos in the second group—including Cardano (ADA), Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL), Tron (TRX), and Yearn.Finance (YFI)—cannot be deposited from or withdrawn to external wallets. Users can only buy them with their personal bank card or exchange them within their NearPay account.
Users who register on the NearPay site are issued a virtual card. However, they can request a physical card (coming soon) after they have been verified. They are charged a £5/€5 fee. Other fees for using NearPay include a loading/unloading fee, monthly management fee, foreign exchange fee, and domestic and international ATM fees.
The NearPay card can hold up to £45,000/€50,000. While NearPay offers no daily spending limit, it has a daily cash withdrawal limit of £400/€450. There is also a daily load maximum of £8,000/€8,800.
NearPay Wallet: Managing crypto and cash with ease
Like the NearPay card, the NearPay Wallet is a nexus of fiat and crypto. It is a custodial wallet that lets users seamlessly exchange funds between their crypto and fiat accounts. NearPay Wallet also supports 38 cryptocurrencies split into two groups, just like the NearPay card. Users can use the wallet to swap one crypto for another.
NearPay Wallet aims for speedy transactions. SEPA transfers (in Euro) will take up to two business days to reach the recipient’s bank. However, for recipients in the UK can receive their funds in hours.
Wallet users would have to create a unique username and password to protect their accounts. They also have the option of using two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security. Furthermore, NearPay protects online purchases through the Verified by Visa feature.
Security: A watchword for NearPay
Like every aspect of the NEAR ecosystem, security is an essential feature of NearPay. The platform has robust security that is powered by features such as Verified by Visa and MultiSig technology.
Verified by Visa (also known as 3D Secure) is a free security service that protects online shoppers against the unauthorized use of their NearPay card. The service asks the user for a one-time password each time they make a purchase online. This password, which works like an ATM PIN, is an extra authentication step for online payments.
MultiSig technology is another security measure used by NearPay. NearPay signs every cryptocurrency transfer with this technology. Since conventional private keys are vulnerable to phishing and social engineering attacks, MultiSig technology uses sequences of multiple keys called keychains.
In addition to the aforementioned security measures, NearPay uses hot and cold wallets to store user data and funds. But just like every other financial app, the user has a primary role to play in securing their accounts. They advise users to take all measures to protect their assets.
Furthermore, NearPay warns users never to engage in any communication that does not come from specified NearPay communication channels—namely, their live chat and @nearpay.co email addresses.
To give users a headstart to protect themselves from fraud, NearPay outlines a list of confirmed scam services to avoid. Names on the list include Axitrade, Cash FX, Flexcapital, Hyperverse, Wise Coin, and 365Falcon.
A fiat-crypto bridge both individuals and businesses can use
NearPay provides a pathway for two groups of users to integrate crypto into their daily life. The groups are individuals and crypto projects.
NearPay allows individuals to top up their cards and make payments anywhere Visa is accepted, manage cryptocurrencies, and make fiat-crypto exchanges with NearPay Wallet. The NearPay website also offers a handy widget for buying crypto with fiat.
For businesses like DeFi projects and NFT marketplaces, NearPay offers an on-ramp solution, which allows their users to buy crypto or products with fiat currencies right on their platforms. With NearPay’s widget, a platform’s users won’t have to venture off it to find the right tokens – a really useful tool for customer diversification and customer growth.