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Mastercard partners with crypto service providers to launch crypto-funded cards in Asia Pacific

Interest in cryptocurrencies in the APAC region has significantly risen since last year as 45 percent of respondents said that they are likely to consider owning crypto next year, up from last year's 12 percent.

Image by: Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

Thu, 11 Nov 2021, 11:32 am UTC

Crypto holders in Asia Pacific will soon be able to use their digital currencies for payments using Mastercard. The payments giant has entered into partnerships with three crypto service providers to launch crypto-funded payment cards in the region.

In a press release, Mastercard announced that it will be launching crypto-linked credit, debit, or pre-paid cards in Asia Pacific. These cards allow their uses to pay cryptocurrency everywhere Mastercard is accepted in the world by instantly converting their digital currencies to fiat.

Mastercard has partnered with three crypto services providers in the region for its crypto-linked cards. These are the Amber Group, Australia’s CoinJar, and Thailand’s Bitkub.

The three companies are also the first in Asia Pacific to join Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program. With the rising adoption of crypto worldwide, the program aims to “make it simpler and faster for crypto firms to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market.”

“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,” Mastercard Asia Pacific Executive Vice President for Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows Rama Sridhar said.

While some people might view crypto as an investment vehicle, Mastercard acknowledged that the real-use cases of digital currencies have expanded beyond investment. “Cryptocurrencies are many things to people—an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool,” Sridhar added.”As interest and attention surge from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative.”

Interest in cryptocurrencies in the APAC region has significantly risen since last year. In the latest Mastercard New Payment Index, 45 percent of respondents said that they are likely to consider owning crypto next year, which is higher than the global average of 40 percent and a marked increase from the 12 percent for Asia Pacific respondents last year.

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