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Sports Fans Can Now Spend on a Socios.com Visa Debit Card Powered by Railsbank

Railsbank, the leading global open banking platform has announced that its customer Chiliz – the leading blockchain fintech provider for sports and creators of the fan voting and rewards app Socios.com – has launched the Socios.com Visa Debit Card.

The card, which is powered by Railsbank’s platform, will be available to all users on Socios.com.

Socios.com empowers users to ‘Be More Than A Fan’, allowing them to vote in club polls and earn rewards through digital assets known as Fan Tokens. Partners include FC Barcelona – who recently launched their $BAR Fan Token, generating $1.3m in sales revenue in less than two hours – Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético de Madrid, AS Roma, Galatasaray, CA Independiente, UFC and esports team OG. As many as 50 more major sporting organisations are primed to join the platform before the end of 2020 – starting with four new clubs on August 25th.

The Socios.com Visa debit card will allow users to make deposits into their EUR or GBP wallet on Socios.com, topping up their balance and making payments for goods and services as with any traditional payments card. The card includes an IBAN and will initially be available in the EEA, before expanding over time to additional markets.

Featuring the message ‘I AM MORE THAN A FAN’ on its overlay, the Socios.com Visa debit card will allow users to strengthen and increase their fan status, while also gaining access to a range of other benefits. In addition to the non-branded version of the card, exclusive limited-edition club-branded cards for the leading Fan Token holders, bestowing additional user privileges, will be created.

Socios.com helps sport entities achieve digital transformation through blockchain technology. Socios.com is powered by the Chiliz token ($CHZ), both an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum blockchain and BEP-2 token on Binance Chain. Fan Tokens are specific to a team or a club, and are a finite, digital asset that provides access to an encrypted, immutable ledger of voting and membership rights ownership. The tokenized fan-voting platform uses Fan Tokens, which operate on a separate permissioned side chain. The Fan Tokens are limited in number, and are fungible, meaning their ownership can be traded, and their price is driven by the market. The venture was inspired by the fan-led management frameworks or ‘socios’ of some major football clubs. Dubbed ‘Socios 2.0’, the platform simply represents the digitisation of this model of management.

Examples of rewards include Juventus ($JUV) and Roma ($ASR) Fan Token holders appearing – via video – on the LED panels surrounding the pitch for recent home games. Galatasaray ($GAL) Fan Token holders will also had their life-sized photos on display at the Türk Telekom stadium for the final three home games of the 2019/20 Süper Lig season.

Socios.com Visa Debit Card owners will also receive a unique global ID number linked to their KYC verified Socios.com ID, that will allow fans to redeem club and sponsor related rewards and discounts. The ID will be visible within the Socios.com app.

Louisa Murray, Global Head of Sales, Railsbank said: “Fintech and football together, the dream ticket! We are very excited that Chiliz and Socios.com have chosen the Railsbank platform from which to launch this very exciting product and we will be working very closely with the team to ensure that it is a great success. “This is a great example of when we say, any company, or product, can be a fintech. It also illustrates how fintech can liberate so many aspects of life and be a key part in the development of society.”

Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO and founder of Chiliz and Socios.com, added: “The Socios.com Visa debit card is the last mile between the club and its fans, through which fans can enjoy even greater recognition – receiving financial boosts and reward points while boosting their fan status for making purchases linked to the clubs they love.”

Railsbank allows marketers, product managers, developers, CEOs and founders to rapidly prototype, launch and scale financial products using its open finance platform, operations, regulatory licensing and rich set of simple APIs. Railsbank’s APIs are the building blocks that enable customers to build pretty much any financial use-case they can imagine, meaning its customers can deliver delightful finance experiences to consumers and businesses. It was founded by serial entrepreneurs, and fintech veterans Nigel Verdon and Clive Mitchell in 2016.

While Chiliz ($CHZ), is a digital currency for sports and entertainment platforms. It fuels the world’s first scalable, tokenized voting platform, Socios.com where fans can buy, trade and execute voting rights in their favorite sports teams. The Chiliz project has raised $66 million from some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and leading crypto funds in Asia, including Binance, OK Blockchain Capital, and Ceyuan Ventures. Chiliz is owned by Malta-based Mediarex Group, a global sports and entertainment organisation, which was founded in 2012. In January 2020, Chiliz announced the launch of Chiliz.net, a first-of-its-kind mobile and desktop crypto exchange for sports and entertainment assets.

Author

  • Gina is a FinTech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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