The Best Alternatives to Barter Dollar Virtual Card that Works For Nigerians 2022
July 17, 2022 users of Fintech App Barter by Flutterwave recieved a message informing them of the discontinuation of all dollar card service.
According to the message, the service was terminated “due to an update from our card partner, which will result in the card service being unavailable for a prolonged period of time.”
Following the announcement by Barter, other consumer fintechs like Eversend, Busha, GetEquity, Klasha and Payday also notified their users of the closing of their virtual card creation service.
Why did Flutterwave shuts down its virtual dollar card service ?
In the message sent by Barter to its users (pics above), it is stated that the stopping of the creation of virtual cards by Barter is due to updating of its card partner. On further inquiry, the supposed card partner is known as Union54. It is said that most African fintech apps such as Eversend, Busha, GetEquity, Klasha, and Payday that made use of Union54 are the ones stopping their virtual card Service.
Who is Union54?
Union54 is a Zambian financial technology company offering seamless, reliable, and rewarding issue of virtual dollar cards in Africa. Union54 provides APIs for African corporates to easily issue debit cards.
As part of Mastercard Principle membership and the first fintech from Africa, Union54 acts as an “issuing bank” and can provide debit cards (physical and virtual). The startup plays an essential role in the growth of the African fintech space with its card-issuing product. But in May, Union54 began experiencing some operational issues with its product, resulting in the temporary suspension of its Bank Identification Number (BIN), the first four to six numbers on a payment card that identifies a card issuer.
According to a memo sent to its clients in May and obtained by TechCrunch, Union54 said though it resolved several of these issues, some remained. And as the company sought solutions, it became apparent that there were “some fundamental blockers to Union54 operating a long-term, profitable card issuing product, mainly due to our partner’s commercial inflexibility and inability to move quickly to implement technical solutions that are required to solve the operational issues we have experienced.”
Union54’s message to its Partners on its virtual cards’ downtime
Despite our best efforts, on 18th July, cards will stop working. We have a number of upgrades and work streams we will be implementing which might take us ~ 6 weeks before we can resume service again.
As a reminder, you can defund cards and process float funds via docs.union54.technology. Please make sure to defund all cards by 17th July 2022 in order for us to effect a bank transfer of any remaining floating float funds on the 20th of July.
We had hoped to avoid this hiatus but it had proved impossible to do so. As such, please accept our apologies for the impact on your business and know that we will back with a stronger and more resilient product.
For the purpose of clarity: new card issuance and transaction processing will stop on the 18th July. All issued cards will not work during this hiatus.
Onwards and upwards.
Message from Union54’s CEO
Perseus Mlambo, the CEO of Union54, posted a screenshot of an internal Slack message on Monday (July 18, 2022) claiming that “the stop on service is part of a required compliance check” that would happen in the next two weeks.
What is a virtual dollar card?
A virtual card is one that has all of the capabilities of a standard credit or debit card but is not real. It makes use of an online internet account, similar to a bank account. Virtual cards allow you to access your bank accounts and conduct purchases in the same manner that an actual debit or credit card would, but without having to carry it with you.
These cards only exist within an app, which means you can’t use them for in-person transactions, but they are well-suited to online purchases. Some virtual cards also include cashback programs, allowing you to earn rewards on ordinary purchases such as groceries or utilities.
Alternatives to Barter Dollar Virtual Card that Works For Nigerians
We’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the best virtual dollar cards for Nigerians. These virtual card services providers are said to be currently nworking for Nigerians looking to make online purchases with overseas providers, as well as a few alternatives for naira virtual cards if you want the convenience of a virtual card for domestic transactions.
An API platform that enables you instantly issue physical and virtual cards with more control & flexibility at scale. Sudo Africa is current;y said to be the best alternative to Union54 , for fintech apps and it can also be used by individual users. Thou their card issuing platform does not appear to be user friendly. Visit giftcard.sudo.africa ,to create yours.
Geegpay by Raenest enables africans to open USD, GBP, and EUR accounts to recieve money . With Geegpay Card, you can automate your employer billing and enhance their credit score while shopping. Geegpay quick FX conversion enables users to change to their local currencies and withdraw to any African bank or mobile money.
Here is how the Virtual Account feature works:
- Visit www.geegpay.africa to sign up
- After complete registration, verify your identity by using our automated identity verification system.
- After your identity verification, you can then request a virtual bank account.
3, Wallets Africa
Wallets Africa is a Nigerian startup firm that provides virtual and real Nigerian naira and US dollar cards.
This digital wallet is completely risk-free for travelers who do not want their actual cards to be seen when traveling. At checkout, all you need to enter is your email address, and your billing information will be kept secret as well. However, this comes at a cost: your card has a monthly $1 fee, a $0.75 fee on every overseas transaction, and a 2% fee to load it from an external account.
The Bitmama Crypto card functions similarly to a credit card. However, rather than utilizing cash from a bank account, you will fund the card using your Bitmama crypto wallet. You can fund your crypto card with the following stablecoins: USDC (USD Coin), USDT (Tether), and cUSD (Celo dollar). When you fund your card with any of these stable coins, the value is translated to US dollars and reflected on the card. The card is accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Bitmama cards come in two varieties: virtual and actual crypto cards. Bitmama virtual cards are available in five distinct colors (White, Pink, Blue, Green, and Black), with each card having its unique monthly transaction limit.
The minimum and maximum limits are $5,000 and $100,000, respectively.
5, Chipper Cash
A pre-funded, reloadable virtual Visa card called the Chipper Cash Card may be used to make purchases anywhere online. The card functions similarly to how your local bank card functions online. The card is accepted anywhere Visa cards are accepted for online transactions. It may also be used to simply purchase anything online with your Chipper cash wallet, including Netflix subscriptions, flights, and other services.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 wallets/accounts are available on Chipper Cash. The app’s additional functions are accessible through tier 2, whereas the tier 1 wallet has several restrictions. According to Chipper Cash, all purchases will earn 5% cashback.
6, Changera Virtual Card
Changera is presently available on both iOS and Android. Download the Changera app from the App Store or Play Store to gain access to the Changera Virtual Cards.
The app is intended to provide customers with a consistent user experience when doing online transactions or making cross-border payments. After downloading the app, users can go to the “Cards” section and click “Get Card.” The Virtual card is produced quickly after all essential parameters, such as selected currency, card type, payment method, wallet, and selecting “pay,” are entered.
Aside from unlimited transactions and card acceptance on all online platforms, customers can also create separate cards for different services such as AWS, Netflix, Facebook Google Ads, Google in-app and store.