In a further move towards cryptocurrency adoption, Mastercard has partnered with one of Australia’s oldest crypto exchanges, CoinJar, to launch one of the country’s first crypto payment cards.
- The card became available on Tuesday in a digital form through integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay, and will be available in a physical form in September. It allows customers to select from 30 available currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether and XRP, at the point of sale, with Mastercard calculating the equivalent amount in Australian dollars to pay merchants. Individual merchants to do not need to sign up to the program, and the card will accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard.
- CoinJar Head of Partnerships Jordan Michaelides told Forkast.News: “We’ve already got people tagging us on Instagram that they’ve paid for their [groceries] with the card. I think the retail-led environment has been there for ages and we’ve finally got a solution to fix that problem we had,” saying thousands had signed up for the card in the 24 hours following its launch.
- In an effort to “expand and accelerate innovation around digital asset technology”, Mastercard recently announced a new global support program for crypto startups and a pilot program with stablecoin USDC to enable crypto purchases to be made anywhere Mastercard is accepted around the globe.
- It has been a big week for the Australian fintech industry, following news that payments giant Square purchased Australian “buy now pay later” company Afterpay for US$29 billion to expand its existing services. Michaelides said Australia was a good place to launch new products, telling Forkast.News: “[Australia is] actually really quite forward in the way that we engage and create new products in the fintech space … I’d definitely say we’re in the top five jurisdictions in the world in terms of new product offerings.”
- The CoinJar release comes shortly after the recent announcement of a similar partnership between Visa and another Australian crypto fintech, CryptoSpend, allowing for crypto purchases to be made on the Visa network.
Correction: Aug. 6, 2021
An earlier version of this story misstated that Mastercard has partnered with CoinJar to launch Australia’s first crypto payment card. It is among the first, but not the very first.