Mastercard expands its reach by introducing cryptocurrency payments to the Asia Pacific region.
According to official statistics, Mastercard is the largest payment network in the world, with over 36 million points of sale across more than 210 countries.
Mastercard offers more options for crypto enthusiasts
Mastercard has been testing compatibility for cryptocurrencies for some time, despite having more than 100 supported currencies and payment methods. It has now reached a partnership agreement with Amber Group, a financial services provider from Hong Kong, and Bitkup, a Thai cryptocurrency exchange.
Logos for Mastercard, Amber and Coinjar. Source: Mastercard
The partnership aims to enable a cryptocurrency-linked payments card service in the Asia-Pacific region that will allow users to use their cryptocurrencies in the same way as if they were using standard fiat money when paying for goods and services.
Customers would use their cards to pay the merchant’s requested amount. The exchange would then contact the customer to convert the cryptocurrency into fiat money. The money would then be transferred through Mastercard’s network to complete the payment.
Official Mastercard information states that the partnership will allow for the use of debit, credit and prepaid cards. This will significantly increase the options available to crypto enthusiasts, who were previously limited to only debit card options.
Amber Group, Bitkup and CoinJar are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platform to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program. This Mastercard initiative was created to secure and efficiently serve the cryptocurrency payments market.
New Times, New Opinions
Mastercard made a U-turn on how it perceives cryptocurrency.
Although the company is currently focused on digital currency support services and innovation, it has held a negative view of the industry in the past.
Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, stated that cryptocurrency was garbage in 2018 because they were anonymous and decentralized and lack stability.
“I consider crypto-currency junk …. The idea of anonymous currency that has been produced by people who need to mine it, whose value can fluctuate wildly, to me is not an acceptable way to think of any medium of trade.
But, time has shown Mr. Banga wrong. Cryptocurrencies had come to revolutionize finance. The corporation began shifting to a more crypto-friendly strategy in 2020 and 2021.
Mastercard, for example, reported in May that nearly 40% of its users would use cryptocurrencies within a few months. In July, Circle and Mastercard partnered to make it possible to settle USDC payments using the Mastercard Network.
Mastercard’s CEO believes that the company must be involved in cryptocurrency. This is a remarkable feat for a technology that was 3 years ago considered “junk”
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