The payment processing giant, which until recently was a fierce opponent of crypto transactions, now intends to change its course? We’re talking, of course, about a company whose product you probably own as well – namely, Mastercard. Until recently, it was known for blocking crypto transactions, but now it intends to become a key stakeholder precisely in this sector, or more precisely, in serving the crypto payments ecosystem. In what way?
Bitcoin Card Services in Asia Pacific
Mastercard has entered into three strategic partnerships that will help it become a major player in cryptocurrency payment processing. The companies with which the partnerships have been established include: Hong Kong-based Amber Group, Bitkub, which is a Thai crypto exchange, and Australian crypto trading platform, Coinja. These companies are expected to enable native customers to exchange cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) for fiat money, for example.
In a special statement, the vice president overseeing Mastercard’s partnerships in Asia Pacific, Rama Sridhar, commented on this new collaboration as follows: “Working with these partners, who adhere to the identical core principles as Mastercard – that any digital currency must provide stability, compliance and consumer protection – Mastercard is expanding the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies to give people even more choice and flexibility in how they pay.”
It’s no coincidence that Mastercard chose the Asia-Pacific region specifically to launch its new operations. According to a recent survey, it’s where as many as 45% of consumers plan to invest in cryptocurrencies in 2022. This is as much as 5% higher than the global average. This is also where the lion’s share of cross-border transfers are made.
This makes it a perfect market for the introduction of cryptocurrency debit, credit and prepaid cards. And this is exactly the service that Mastercard plans to introduce to the market. These cards are to be offered to both individuals and businesses.
The Asia-Pacific region was carefully selected precisely because of the public’s high awareness of cryptocurrencies, as well as the high degree of technological advancement. Will this experiment succeed, and will Mastercard become a global forerunner in the field of innovative cryptocurrency cards?