As you may know I am somewhat sceptic about the underpinnings of Bitcoin (see my previous posts), but the system does keep innovation going. Bit-instant for example is a company that helps consumers convert money into bitcoin and vice-versa. And such services are surely helpful in bringing more reach to the system.
Bit-instant is apparently now planning to bring a debit-card on the market, in two months time, that marries the bitcoin and money world even more. In this article here you can find a link to an IRC chat with Bit-instant, in which it announces its plans. It also provides a link to the picture of the card, showing a QR code that can be used to quickly deposit bitcoins residing in other applications to the card-account.
Now as I understand it, it is a regular worldwide ATM/Payment card. And it looks like it allows bitcoin to be deposited on the card balance. But essentially the bitcoin holder can ask Bit-instant for a conversion of some bitcoins to money and this money will then be deposited on the card balance for payment. By also printing the bitcoin identification on the card the concept very much looks like bitcoin is entering the card-market. And certainly to the user it will feel/look that he can pay with his own minted bitcoins.
In reality this is a very smart introduction of just another card in the market. It's a variation of the regular co-branded card where now we don't see a soccer club, automobile club, but the bitcoin club appearing. Still, it's another innovation worth exploring, so let's see where this card will take us.