Mastercard is on the verge of launching crypto-linked payment cards in Asia and has tied up with three digital asset platforms in the APAC region to allow consumers the convenience of converting the likes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies. So far, Mastercard has announced it is joining hands with Hong Kong’s crypto finance firm Amber Group, Thailand’s crypto exchange Bitkub and Australian trading platform CoinJar. The partnership intends to introduce cryptocurrency-linked credit, debit, and prepaid cards for both individuals and businesses across the Asia Pacific region.
Cardholders will be able to instantly convert Bitcoin and other digital currencies into fiat, which can then be used to spend online or across physical retail outlets with any merchants that accept Mastercard payments.
The collaboration comes as interest in cryptocurrencies soars to an all-time high in the Asia Pacific region, Mastercard said in a statement.
Mastercard also claims to have found in its latest survey that 45 percent of consumers in the region are open to using digital assets for payments within the next year, a percentage that is marginally higher than the global average which sits at 40 percent.
“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,” says Mastercard’s executive vice president who oversees digital partnerships in Asia Pacific, Rama Sridhar.
The company recently announced a deal with crypto-wallet platform Bakkt in the US to allow merchants, fintech firms, and banks to accept and extend “a broad set” of solutions and services involving cryptocurrencies. The deal enables Mastercard users the freedom to buy, sell, and hold digital assets on the Bakkt wallet. The popular financial payments processor will also offer crypto rewards to consumers as part of the deal.