Mastercard will also provide a guided experience through everything the company can offer.
In a press release, Mastercard said the accelerated program will now make it easier for consumers to hold and activate cryptocurrencies with Wirex, a UK-based native cryptocurrency platform, being just one of many companies that will be granted a Mastercard principal membership, and enabling them directly issue payment cards.
Speaking about the new accelerated card program, Raj Dhamodharan, VP, Digital Asset & Blockchain Products and Partnerships, Mastercard, said:
“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy.
Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay.”
All payment cards issued to consumers will make it easier for people to buy, hold, and exchange multiple cryptocurrencies instantly into traditional fiat currency, which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world.
According to the company, currency will always enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency. Firms however will be free to offer reward programs in bitcoin for in-store purchases.
Mastercard is the most widely accepted payment card in Africa operating in 48 of Africa’s 55 markets. Its network of ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals on the continent has grown significantly to more than 58, 000 ATM locations and over 438, 000 POS terminals across Africa.
Mastercard however will only work with partners that follow the three core principles below:
Provide strong consumer protection, including privacy and security of the consumers’ information and transactions
Deliver a level playing field for all stakeholders, including but not limited to financial institutions, merchants and mobile network operators
Operate in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including those applicable to anti-money laundering, and consistent with the economic systems of the countries the network operates in
As cryptocurrency adoption sees exponential growth, especially in emerging markets of Africa, the ability to use cryptourrencies in everyday life becomes more necessary.
The simplified Mastercard card program will no doubt prove invaluable to these emerging markets and help plug digital currencies in existing payment networks.