Forex & Bitcoin P2P Payments App Circle Expands Services to Spain and Ireland

Boston-based mobile payments firm Circle has opened up funding via European debit cards for current clients in the UK & Europe. Prior to today’s announcement, users were only able to load their Circle accounts with cards issued in the United States and UK.

The new options also allow some EU citizens to hold & transfer euros among their friends and family members, and even cross-border at the push of a button on their mobile. Circle unveiled the new funding options in tandem with the launch of their app in Spain and Ireland today, which gives citizens of those countries the ability to send cash in a P2P fashion with minimal cost.

Circle Co-Founders Jeremy allaire and Sean Neville explain in their blog post:
“For example, our UK and US customers who hold £ and $ can now send and receive Euros with customers in Spain or Ireland at the speed and convenience of the internet in the same way they are used to sharing messages, photos, or any other content.”

Circle’s app is able to instantly transfer fiat currency between clients by using Bitcoin’s blockchain system as a payment rail. Because of the cost-effective nature of Bitcoin transactions, Circle is able to offer clients a much cheaper remittance service than legacy transfer methods like bank wires & PayPal payments:
“At Circle, we aim to deliver the best rate possible in the world, with Circle’s exchange rate typically being around 0.2% to 0.3% above the market rate.”
Since launching in October of 2013, the innovative startup has raised north of $135 million in four investment rounds from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Baidu. Circle was also the first recipient of UK’s E-Money License in April of this year.

According to the updated debit card support list, users in Estonia Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom are able to hold euros in their Circle app. Coverage for additional EU states is forthcoming.