Mastercard launches crypto-friendly cards in Asia Pacific

Mastercard has established partnerships with a group of digital asset companies to allow its customers across Asia Pacific to get a crypto-friendly Mastercard credit or debit card. The payments company confirmed partnerships with Amber Group, Bitkub and CoinJar.

Cardholders will have the option of instantly converting their crypto into a fiat currency which can be spent anywhere that Mastercard is accepted. The companies joining Mastercard on its new initiative are all Asia Pacific-based crypto firms, however it could be the first region of many.

According to a poll by Mastercard, close to half of those surveyed in Asia Pacific said they are likely to consider using crypto in 2022, while 12% confirmed they have already used crypto this year. Only last month the payments behemoth said it was progressing towards allowing merchants and banks to build crypto into their offerings, alongside Bakkt, the digital asset platform.

"Cryptocurrencies are many things to people – an investment, a disruptive technology or a unique financial tool," said Rama Sridhar, executive vice president, digital and emerging partnerships and new payment flows, Asia-Pacific, Mastercard.

"As interest and attention surge from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative."

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