In order to offer crypto-backed payment cards in Asia Pacific (APAC), Mastercard has teamed with three top cryptocurrency startups.
The three partners are Hong Kong-based crypto trading startup Amber Group, Australian cryptocurrency exchange CoinJar, and Siam Commercial bank-owned exchange platform Bitkub, according to a Mastercard release today. These three enterprises are the first virtual currency businesses in APAC to join Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program.
“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,”
Rama Sridhar, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital and emerging partnerships and new payment flows for the APAC region said in the statement.
Consumers and merchants in the APAC region will soon be able to obtain crypto-backed Mastercard debit, credit, and prepaid cards as a result of the cooperation. This access could make it easier for users in the region to use cryptocurrency.
According to a recent Mastercard survey, 45 percent of respondents in the APAC area said they would consider using cryptocurrency for payments in 2022. In February, Mastercard stated that it would begin directly supporting several cryptocurrencies on its network. Since then, the firm has become increasingly interested in digital assets.
Mastercard bought blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace in September, describing the deal as a “huge services opportunity” in the context of the company’s larger aspirations to adopt central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins. The company signed an agreement with crypto exchange Bakkt in October to expand the breadth of its bitcoin service offering to banks and fintech clients.