Networks of payment cards In the Asia Pacific (APAC) area, Mastercard has teamed with cryptocurrency service providers Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar to introduce its first crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards.
“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,” Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows.
The announcement comes at a time when some establishments are already accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment methods. According to a Mastercard poll, 45 percent of respondents in APAC believe they are likely to use cryptocurrency in the coming year.
Amber Group and Bitkub, both located in Thailand, as well as CoinJar, based in Australia, both offer cryptocurrency purchase and exchange services in their respective domestic markets. These businesses are the first in APAC to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program, which allows cardholders to exchange their bitcoin holdings into fiat currency.
“Rather than directly transferring cryptocurrencies to a merchant, cardholders will now be able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world, both online and offline. Currency will always enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency,” the company added.
The payment card business originally declared its intention to support cryptocurrencies on its network in February of this year.
The corporation claimed that bringing cryptocurrency onto its network was a conscious move.”Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money,” it has said.
It had further said that “not all of today’s cryptocurrencies will be supported” on the network. “While stablecoins are more regulated and reliable than in the recent past, many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures, so they won’t meet our requirements,” it stated in a blog post.