-BitPay has, as of March 3rd, 2019, requested that FirstView Financial, LLC, the issuers of their PrePaid Visa Debit Cards (for which BitPay users hold a bank account), halt ALL access to cash held in its users accounts, except for signature purchases at a merchant. This includes all cash-back transactions, ACH transfers to another Bank Account, and ALL ATM WITHDRAWLS.
-FirstView Financial, LLC is insisting that BitPay is in fact in control of this- however, as BitPay only serves as a means of exchange, they can only request that this action be taken by the Card Issuers. FirstView Financial has obliged this request.
-BitPay is stating that this is due to a "Systems Upgrade" being completed to make transactions smoother. However, after 3 weeks, neither BitPay nor FirstView Financial, LLC is able to give an estimate as to when these "Systems Upgrades" will be completed. BitPay has convinced FirstView Financial, LLC to make false statements regarding the true nature behind this move.
-The change was made without warning, and while both FirstView Financial and BitPay insist that users were notified via email, I have personally confirmed the 5/5 users of BitPay, including myself that I personally know, never received such communication.
-FirstView Financial does not have any physical branches, but is in fact an interstate bank. They are legally mandated to allow access to physical currency for their account holders. They are not.
-BitPay in fact hid this information, buried in their FAQ section.
-No warning is given prior to making a deposit to the Visa Debit Card. Customers only become aware of this limitation after attempting to gain access to their cash.
-BitPay will not reverse any transfers made to the cards.
-Neither BitPay nor FirstView Financial is able to provide any details as to why they might be performing a "systems update," stating only that it is for improvement.
-Both companies have shown a readiness to conduct underhanded and deceitful tactics to cover up what is actually transpiring.
Speculation and Common Sense Reasoning
Anyone knows that no "systems update" takes 3 days, let alone three weeks. Yet after 3 weeks, it appears that there is no plans to bring back cash withdrawals via the ATM card, cash-back pin transactions or ACH transfers. Furthermore, the BitPay system has functioned flawlessly for years. And if there was no reason to lie, than bitpay could have easily displayed messages in their app warning users or prominently on their homepage, or even as an alert when logging into a users account- they did not. It further appears they are telling people that they recieved an email that was never sent.
The most plausible explanation is that they are under investigation for failing to comply with AML and KYC regulations required by a crypto-fiat exchange. Had their suspension of Cash access been a well planned undertaking, then it could be argued that they simply planned to phase that out to avoid the costs associated with proper identity verification, but their willingness to lie, and convince FirstView Financial to lie suggests that they in fact are working hard to cover up the truth.
With this in mind, I do not think it is unreasonable to question the conrinued future access to any funds deposited to a prepaid BitPay Visa debit card- even if the user only wishes to spend them at certain merchants with a signature transaction.
What to Do
-Firstly, I suggest anyone with any funds on a BitPay Visa Debit all call FirstView Financial LLC and demand access to their CASH. While FirstView will insist that they are not in control, every person with cash in a BitPay Visa Debit account has an account- unlinked to BitPay in any regard- solely in their own name. No bank is allowed to restrict access to its customers funds (up to $ 250,000 at a time), saying they can only "spend" the money at merchants who accept Visa.
-Demand answers from BitPay! They are being offensive in trying to say they are conducting a systems upgrade.
-Demand BitPay reverse any and all deposits made without this knowledge.
-Make complaints against BitPay and FirstView Financial, LLC to any regulatory body that will take them.
-Finally, this is a legally actionable offense. I am currently seeking an adequate law firm willing to take on a class action suit against both companies- if anyone can help in that endeavour, please comment below.
Let's not let these two Companies' reckles, careless and fraudulent activities tarnish the reputation of Bitcoin. Let's not let another individual profit by lying to the community!