Mastercard Forges Partnership In Asia for Bitcoin Payment Cards

Deck: Mastercard finds regional partners in Asia to introduce crypto payment cards as its survey on consumers reveals such a need.

Crypto to Fiat 

Mastercard partners with three digital asset platforms in Asia to allow consumers in the region to instantly convert cryptos to fiat for spending with any of the merchants that accepts Mastercard payments. In a press release by Mastercard, the global payment solutions provider announced its partnership with Amber Group in Hongkong, Bitkub in Thailand, and CoinJar in Australia into its Crypto Card Program

Source: The three digital asset service providers offer cryptocurrency purchase and exchange services in their respective domestic markets

Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said, “In collaboration with these partners that adhere to the same core principles that Mastercard does – 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.” 

In a survey conducted by Mastercard, 45% of consumers in the region are considering using cryptocurrency within the next year, a higher demand than the global average of 40%. The Crypto Card Program is intended to make it easier for crypto firms to bring secure and compliant payment cards to the market, meeting the consumers’ need to fund transactions with digital currencies. 

Identifying Consumers’ Needs

Interest in cryptocurrencies in Asia has been on the rise, partly a result of the crypto bull cycle. Consumer needs are fueled by two major factors. First, consumers need a payment gateway that automatically converts their cryptos to fiat and secondly, a cashless payment solution. The decision to introduce cryptocurrency linked credit, debit and prepaid cards is a timely call. 

Source: Payment solutions providers such as Mastercard and Visa are sensitive towards consumers’ needs in order to remain competitive

The service of offering crypto exchange and custodian services falls within a regulated space in many jurisdictions. Therefore to effectively offer such services, Mastercard has to engage with regulated entities for the security of its consumers. 

Payment solutions providers are taking positive steps to recognise consumers’ changing habits. Some consumers consider keeping crypto assets as a hedge against inflation. However, the hassle in converting crypto assets to fiat manually becomes a practical impediment that prevents many people from keeping their savings in the form of crypto assets. Payment solution providers can resolve this dilemma through initiatives through programs such as Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program. 

Store of Value     

In the past, crypto assets are speculative assets that fluctuates violently. Although today, there are still fluctuations, the massive swings have been reduced significantly through institutional adoptions. Adoption is increasing as the main crypto assets are starting to be recognised as a reliable store of value. 

A stable store of value can allow for the asset to be used as a mode of settlement if recognised as a legal tender. Until the day comes when countries can adopt the approach taken by El Salvador, the role of exchanges is crucial to carry out the role of converting cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies.    

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