Crypto payments firm Wirex has reached a long-term strategic alliance with payments giant Visa to boost its presence in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the UK.

Under the tie-up, Wirex has become a member of Visa to directly issue crypto-based debit and prepaid cards to more than 40 countries.

The Visa membership will allow Wirex to provide new solutions that leverage crypto in day-to-day transactions as well as enhance user-experience and pilot new blockchain-driven schemes.

This new alliance, which builds on the duo’s existing collaboration, will also promote fresh partnerships in key markets, such as APAC, UK, Europe along with the US.

In 2015, Wirex created a crypto-driven card that enables users to buy, hold, exchange and sell various traditional and cryptocurrencies. Users can spend these currencies at more than 80 million places where Visa is accepted.

Wirex regional managing director of APAC Svyatoslav Garal said: “It’s great to strengthen our partnership with Visa, who have played an important role in allowing us to bridge the gap between the traditional and digital economies.

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“Visa’s proven commitment to safety, security and innovation will help us to continue developing a next-generation app and card.”

In August last year, Wirex introduced its cryptocurrency-based loan service, named Wirex Credit, in the UK.

Visa head of digital partnerships in Asia Pacific Matt Wood said: “Visa wants to bring more payment options to consumers by connecting digital currencies with our network of banks and merchants.

“We’re excited that Wirex is expanding their focus on Asia Pacific, making it easy and seamless for people to spend their crypto balance at the millions of merchants that accept Visa in the region.”