Mastercard has partnered with three crypto companies in Asia Pacific — Hong Kong-based Amber Group, Bitkub in Thailand, and CoinJar in Australia — to launch crypto-funded payment cards, according to a Nov. 8 media statement.

Fast facts

  • The three companies are the first APAC-based cryptocurrency platforms to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program, which enables crypto companies to offer their customers card programs, the statement said. Cardholders will be able to instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency to spend globally at both online and offline merchants in the Mastercard network.
  • According to the Mastercard New Payments Index released in May, 45% of those surveyed in APAC said they are likely to consider using cryptocurrency in the next year — an increase over the 12% that already used it in the last year, and higher than the global average of 40%。
  • “Cryptocurrencies are many things to people — an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. As interest and attention surges from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative,” said Rama Sridhar, Mastercard executive vice president, digital & emerging partnerships and new payment flows, Asia Pacific. “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.”
  • As interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow, consumers have used their credit and debit cards to purchase — and spend — their crypto. According to Visa, more than US$1 billion was spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first six months of 2021. Visa has partnered with over 50 crypto platforms on card programs such as Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States and Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange to enable customers to spend cryptocurrencies at more than 70 million merchants globally.