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November 9, 2021

Mastercard to offer crypto-linked payment cards in APAC

By Johney Amala

Mastercard is set to roll out crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or pre-paid cards in the Asia Pacific region, by joining forces with three crypto service providers.

These three crypto firms are Amber, Bitkub and CoinJar.

The crypto-linked cards, which will enable users to convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, will be offered to consumers as well as businesses in the region.

These cards can be used globally everywhere Mastercard is accepted, both online and offline.

According to Mastercard, the currency will enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency.

Thailand-based Amber Group and Bitkub as well as Australia-based CoinJar are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Programme.

Mastercard Asia Pacific Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows executive vice president Rama Sridhar 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.”

The Crypto Card Program was launched by Mastercard to provide customers, merchants and businesses more choice in how they transact digital assets.

As part of the programme, the firm provides participating fintech companies access to fintech and digital asset experts, and in-market teams.

Bitkub founder and group CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa commented: “I believe that our strong partnership will accelerate consumers’ use of crypto as a means of commerce, making payments more efficient and facilitating new economic activity for businesses worldwide.”

Amber Group founder and CEO Michael Wu added: “By joining forces with Mastercard, we will leverage our combined technology, solutions, and expertise to offer users in applicable jurisdictions a more streamlined digital finance experience.”

Last month, Mastercard teamed up with digital asset marketplace Bakkt to expand access to cryptocurrency solutions and services for US-based merchants, banks, and fintechs.

In July this year, the payment giant tapped digital currency firm Circle to allow individuals and businesses to utilise USD Coin (USDC) for transactions.

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