Upstart Cryptocurrency Exchange, LVL Launches MasterCard Debit Card

LVL, an upstart cryptocurrency exchange, in a bid to bring traditional banking services and crypto closer together for the average consumer, is opening pre-orders for a Mastercard debit card linked to bitcoin and fiat accounts.

In response, LVL CEO Chris Slaughter said, the card is among Mastercard’s premium products and can be used anywhere globally.

He went forward to disclose that it took the firm quite a long time to harmonize with MasterCard. He said:

“It took a couple of months to get Mastercard to be comfortable with it being connected to crypto,”

He stressed that:

“Convincing them that it was aligned with their premium brand was more involved because their view on crypto businesses is that they’re transactional businesses, not member services businesses. … We’re a subscription service, which is analogous to having a premium card membership in Mastercard’s eyes.”

Slaughter maintained that the debit card is expected to generate substantial LVL revenue, removing the trading fee for subscription-based services, in November 2020.

Other inclusive steps in contrast to others are that the platform offers demand deposit accounts opened in the customer’s name and can’t be controlled by LVL.

The platform’s back-end bank is Evolve Bank & Trust, a community bank based in West Memphis, Ark.; the exchange accesses through San Francisco fintech firm Synapse.

Synapse CEO Sankaet Pathak said:

“Other people want to do crypto-linked debit cards, but [LVL] is the fastest to market on this,”

He also reemphasized:

“One functionality that people constantly desire in the crypto space is the same thing that happened with E-Trade and Schwab – they want deposit capabilities, direct deposit, and card issuance linked to their accounts.