Mastercard launches crypto cards in the Asia Pacific
Mastercard has partnered up with the Asia Pacific-based cryptocurrency services platforms, Amber Group, Bitkub, and CoinJar. Mastercard will ultimately launch payment cards which will enable the users to convert digital tokens into traditional fiat currency. Bitkub is based in Thailand, and CoinJar is an Australian company, whereas the Amber Group has offices in South Kore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These three companies are the first crypto company in the Asia Pacific region to be a part of Mastercard’s global crypto card program.
“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,” said Rama Sridhar, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital and emerging partnerships and new payment flows for the Asia Pacific.
The new payment cards will make it easier for users to convert cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency. The traditional way to convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency is to directly transfer the cryptocurrencies to a merchant. Now customers can skip this stage completely, and use the Mastercard to do so. Notably, the currency converted can be spent anywhere Mastercard is accepted, be it online or offline. The converted currency will enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency.
One of the motives behind starting this initiative is that Mastercard revealed that 45% of Asia Pacific customers are likely to use cryptocurrency in 2022, and this number will only grow in the future. There is no doubt that now cryptocurrency is one of the four emerging payment methods, the other three being QR codes, biometrics, and contactless payment options. Mastercard’s data has also revealed that 94% of consumers consider paying using one of the four methods mentioned above. Furthermore, the same report also revealed that millennials are more eager to use and learn more about cryptocurrency than the general population.