KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10): Mastercard has tied up with three digital asset platforms in Asia to issue payment cards that will allow consumers in the region to convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies.
Forbes reported on Tuesday (Nov 9) that Mastercard had announced it is joining hands with Hong Kong’s crypto finance firm Amber Group, Thailand’s crypto exchange Bitkub and Australia’s trading platform Coinjar.
The partnership intends to introduce cryptocurrency-linked credit, debit and prepaid cards for both individuals and businesses across Asia Pacific.
Cardholders will be able to instantly convert Bitcoin and other digital currencies into fiat currencies, which can then be spent online or offline with any of the merchants that accept Mastercard payments.
The collaboration comes as interest in cryptocurrencies soars to an all-time high in Asia Pacific, Mastercard said in a statement.
Mastercard had found in its latest survey that 45% of consumers in the region are considering using the digital coins within the next year, higher than the global average of 40%.
Mastercard’s executive vice president who oversees digital partnerships in Asia Pacific, Rama Sridhar was quoted as saying 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,” said Sridhar.