Mastercard has been upping its bet in the bitcoin space of late. The payments processor, alongside its rival Visa, has realized that the future of payments will happen on the blockchain, hence it is better to get in now than later. This has put MasterCard at the forefront of development on the payments side of cryptocurrencies, propelled forward by its enormous resources that can be put towards research.
The latest in the long line of innovation in the crypto space is the launch of crypto payment cards in the Asia Pacific. The cards will help accelerate MasterCard’s effort to enable crypto payment in the world, along with buying and selling their cryptocurrencies. Users will be able to spend bitcoin and other digital currencies using the card in Asia-Pacific.
Mastercard Launches Asia-Pacific’s First Crypto Card
Mastercard announced on Monday that it would be releasing Asia Pacific’s first crypto-liked payment card. Users would be able to fund their cards using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which would be automatically converted to fiat currencies, and they can use the cards to pay for goods and services wherever Mastercards are accepted. Individual customers and businesses will be able to take advantage of the cards, which offer a choice between credit, debit, or prepaid crypto cards.
Related Reading | How Bitcoin Has Performed Compared To Top Stocks
Mastercard partnered with leading digital currency companies in the region to bring this service to its customers. Coinjar, Amber Group, and Biktub were the power trio, in conjunction with Mastercard, responsible for making the cards a reality.
Crypto Mastercards were previously unavailable in APAC. However, these three companies have joined Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program, a program designed by the company to enable crypto firms to offer secure and compliant crypto payment cards to residents of the region.
Bringing Bitcoin Payments To The Forefront
While merchants and business owners have already begun to offer bitcoin and crypto payments in the region, it is still an inefficient process given the nature of cryptocurrencies. With credit, debit, or prepaid cards, customers would not have to worry about sending their cryptocurrencies to a merchant’s wallet. Instead, being able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies and pay right away with fiat currency.
Related Reading | New York Mayor Says Cryptocurrencies Should Be Taught In Schools
Mastercard rolled out the product at a time when interest in crypto is at an all-time high in the region. A poll carried out in APAC saw 45% of respondents saying they would consider using crypto in the next year. This was much higher than the global average of 40%. It is the latest step in Mastercard’s mission to modernize payments systems around the globe, providing a better way for individuals and businesses to transact.
BTC continues on upward trend | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Speaking on its latest roll-out, Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President of Digital & Emerging Partnership and New Payment Flows for Mastercard in Asia Pacific, said; “In collaboration with these partners that adhere to the same core principles that Mastercard does – that any digital currency must offer stability, regulatory compliance, and consumer protection – Mastercard is expanding what’s possible with cryptocurrencies to give people even greater choice and flexibility in how they pay.”
Featured image from Bitcoin News, chart from TradingView.com