The credit card company Mastercard announced this week that it intends to expand its offer for crypto-currencies together with the company Wirex. The aim is to make it easier for consumers to hold and purchase crypto-currencies.
According to a press release issued by the company, consumer interest and investment in digital currencies is increasing. Research has shown that up to 20% of the population in some countries have crypto-currencies, and an increasing number of retailers are exploring the area.
Extension of the partner program
The planned expansion should make it easier for partners of the company to bring secure and compliant payment cards to the market. Wirex was named as the first cooperation partner for this purpose. The Mastercard main membership enables Wirex to issue payment cards directly to consumers. This makes it easier for consumers to buy, hold and exchange several traditional and crypto-currencies. Consumers can instantly exchange their crypto-currencies for Fiat currencies.
Previously, only Visa cards were available from Wirex. The Wirex app enables consumers to trade various crypto currencies over the counter. At the time of purchase, the selected crypto currency is then converted into the corresponding national currency. The exchange of crypto currencies into fiat currencies is free of charge.
Mastercard also announced that its partners are invited to participate in the "Mastercard Accelerate Program" for emerging brands and fintechs. The Mastercard Accelerate Program consists of a series of award-winning programs that have enabled participants around the world to access Mastercard's ecosystem, customers and innovations.
Catching up on Visa
Mastercard's Accelerate program is similar to Visa's Fintech Fast Track program and signals Mastercard's desire to expand its relatively small footprint in crypto space. This is because the majority of the payment cards issued by crypto related companies to date are located within the Visa network. Visa had dealt with the blockchain early on and had already applied for a patent application for its own digital currency based on the blockchain in November 2018. Mastercard is now jumping on the bandwagon of digital currencies by expanding its partner program.
"The crypto currency market continues to mature and Mastercard is driving it forward by creating secure and protected experiences for consumers and businesses in today's digital economy" - Raj Dhamodharan the Executive Vice President of Mastercard
Raj Dhamodharan further stated in the announcement that Mastercard plans to further develop the crypto-currency market. This should enable secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today's digital economy. Working with Wirex and the broad crypto ecosystem will also accelerate innovation and give consumers greater choice in their payment methods.