You soon will be able to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat and back, instantly via Mastercard payment cards, which means no need to use merchant and middlemen conversion services when using the payment card. Mastercard – the global payment company, is starting the service in the Asia Pacific in partnership with regional digital asset service providers Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar.
The company announced the launch of the service on Monday, adding that businesses and consumers will be able to apply for the crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit, or prepaid cards that can allow this conversion and spending of cryptocurrencies anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
“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, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
Without the instant conversion service, Mastercard customers usually need to undergo lengthy crypto to fiat and fiat to crypto conversion procedures. They would require to first deposit the crypto or the money they want to convert to an exchange or service that allows them to do so, which means additional expenses, delays, and additional verification procedures.
The company said although many merchants already support payments for goods and services with cryptocurrencies, this means of payment isn’t yet vast. It stated that the new service on the Crypto Card Program responds to global and regional demand for crypto as a payment method, with more people in the Asia Pacific — or 12% expected to use digital currencies for payments in the next year according to the company’s recent payment index. 45% of people surveyed in the Asia Pacific region said they were considering using crypto in the next year, which is above the 40% global average.
The new service will help customers, merchants, and businesses to move digital and traditional value whichever way they want. The company, however, explained that it does not intend to support every cryptocurrency for these instant crypto and fiat conversions. It may start with stablecoins, which it views as more stable, regulated, and aligned to meeting its compliance measures.
Mastercard did not reveal when/if the service will be expanded to other regions but alluded that it may work with more like-minded service providers in other regions as long as they adhere to Mastercard’s core principles of stability, regulatory compliance, and consumer protection in the services provided.