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Mastercard Joins Crypto Payment Cards Project in Asia

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Crypto payment cards are on the way for the Asia Pacific region, thanks to partnerships involving Mastercard.

Mastercard has partnered with Amber, Bitkub and CoinJar, cryptocurrency service providers in Asia Pacific, to launch crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards. This will make it easier for consumers and corporates to spend cryptocurrency on physical or digital Mastercard payment cards

The agreements mean that, for the first time, consumers and businesses in the region can apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or pre-paid cards. The cards allow them to instantly convert cryptocurrencies into fiat currency, which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted.

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Mastercard Crypto Program

Mastercard’s partners are based in Thailand and Australia, offering cryptocurrency purchase and exchange services. The companies are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program, designed to make it simpler and faster for crypto firms to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market.

Digital currencies are not currently widely accepted, so this crypto payment card converts the holder’s cryptocurrency to fiat, rather than transferring crypto to the merchant.

It will work online and offline, with currency always entering the Mastercard network as fiat currency.

Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said: ‘Cryptocurrencies are many things to people; an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool.

‘As interest and attention surges from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative. 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.’

Michael Wu, Founder and CEO of Amber Group, added: ‘Amber Group is committed to serving clients with best-in-class technology and innovative product offerings. 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.’

A Sophisticated Card Solution

Founder and Group CEO of Bitkub. Jirayut Srupsrisopa. said: ‘Thailand is one of the most crypto-oriented markets in Asia Pacific, and so turning that broad asset ownership into something which is usable in an everyday context is a major step forward for Bitkub and our customers.

‘To make this happen, we are very pleased to be connected to Mastercard via our valued payments partner 2C2P to create a sophisticated card solution that allows crypto users to make payments by converting cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency. 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.’

CoinJar CEO. Asher Tan. concluded: ‘As one of the world’s longest-running crypto exchanges, we’re thrilled to partner with a global giant like Mastercard to make cryptocurrency more accessible and useful than it’s ever been before.’

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