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Mastercard wrote that consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will have access to apply for crypto cards.
Financial services company Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) is active in the digital currency market, unveiling crypto services, and has now announced crypto-linked payment cards. As the financial services company continues to explore the crypto space, the company has announced the launch of the new payment cards in Asia-Pacific (APAC). Mastercard announced the latest splash in the digital market on the 8th of November.
The payment giant partnered with three crypto service providers across Asia-Pacific to roll out the region’s first crypto-linked payment cards. Additionally, Mastercard noted that its partners are Amber Group, CoinJar in Australia, and Bitkub in Thailand. These crypto platforms are the first Asia Pacific-based crypto service providers to work with Mastercard on its global Crypto Card Program.
Mastercard to Roll Out Crypto Payment Cards
Mastercard wrote that consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will have access to apply for crypto cards. This will mark the first time that consumers will have access to such services. Interested users can apply for Mastercard credit, debit, or pre-paid cards. With any of the cards, holders will be able to instantly cover their crypto holdings into traditional fiat currencies.
Noting that some merchants have started accepting payments in crypto, Mastercard said that the payment method is not widespread. Also, Mastercard shed more light on the new crypto-link payment cards:
“Rather than directly transferring cryptocurrencies to a merchant, cardholders will now be able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into a 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.”
Notably, Mastercard unveiled the crypto-linked cards amid the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies across the Asia Pacific region. The latest Mastercard New Payments Index revealed that 25% of those surveyed in the APAC will likely consider using crypto in the coming year. This shows the growing interest in crypto. Last year, only 12% used crypto, according to the Index. At the same time, the 45% from the survey is more than the global average of 40%.
Mastercard Executive Speaks on the Latest Launch
According to Mastercard’s executive vice president, digital & emerging partnerships and new payment flows, Asia Pacific, Rama Sridhar, crypto could mean different things to different people. To some, digital assets are investments. Some people see cryptocurrencies as a disruptive technology, while some see them as a unique financial tool. Sridhar added:
“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.”
At the time of writing, MA is down 0.19% to $349 in after-hours trading. Despite engaging in crypto-related services over the months, MA has dropped over 2% in its year-to-date record.