mastercard launches first crypto-linked payment cards for asia-pacific region

Payments giant Mastercard is launching crypto-linked payment cards for the Asia-Pacific region in partnership with three crypto service providers. “For the first time, consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit, or prepaid cards,” Mastercard said.

First Crypto-Linked Mastercards in Asia-Pacific Region

Mastercard announced Monday that it has partnered with three crypto service providers across the Asia-Pacific region “to launch the region’s first crypto-linked payment cards.”

The three partners are Amber Group, Bitkub in Thailand, and Coinjar in Australia. All three companies offer cryptocurrency exchange services in their respective domestic markets. In partnership with Mastercard, they “will be launching crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards,” the announcement notes, adding:

For the first time, consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region will be able to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid cards.

The cards “will enable them to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency, which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world.”

The three companies “are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program which was designed to make it simpler and faster for crypto firms to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market, as consumers increasingly seek to fund everyday transactions securely and efficiently with digital currencies,” the payments giant explained, adding:

This announcement comes at a time when interest in cryptocurrencies is at an all-time high across the Asia Pacific region.

Last month, Mastercard announced that it has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange platform Bakkt “to make it easier for merchants, banks, and fintechs in the U.S. to embrace and offer a broad set of cryptocurrency solutions and services.”

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