First Crypto-Linked Mastercards in Asia-Pacific Region

November 10, 2021

International payments giant Mastercard announced on Monday to have partnered with three crypto service providers in the Asia-Pacific region. Together they are “to launch the region’s first crypto-linked payment cards.

The partners are Amber Group and Bitkub in Thailand, and Coinjar in Australia. The three are all cryptocurrency exchanges in their respective jurisdictions and now they “will be launching crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards,” as per the announcement:

For the first time, consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid cards.

The crypto cards “will enable them to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world.”

Mastercard clarified that the three exchanges are pioneers in their regions and said:

“[They] are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program which was designed to make it simpler and faster for crypto firms to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market, as consumers increasingly seek to fund everyday transactions securely and efficiently with digital currencies.”

The payments firm furthermore noted that the timing is impeccable:

“This announcement comes at a time when interest in cryptocurrencies is at an all-time high across the Asia Pacific region.”

A month ago, Mastercard partnered with cryptocurrency platform Bakkt in a push to further drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. An earlier study by Mastercard revealed that 40% of millennials have already accepted crypto and plan to be using it within the coming year.

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Author: Peter Siu

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