On July 20, 2020, Mastercard revealed in a press release that it had partnered with leading payments platform Wirex in an effort to achieve the shared vision of bringing cryptocurrency to the mainstream.
This partnership will be facilitated under the Mastercard Accelerate program, which strives to offer a streamlined and swift onboarding for crypto payment companies onto the Mastercard network.
Participants in the program can use Mastercard’s insights and cybersecurity services to improve their product delivery and user experience.
The partnership now allows Wirex, one of the few crypto-friendly startups in the UK, to issue payment cards directly, deliver more convenience, and reduce costs and faster transactions to users.
Furthermore, the deal allows Wirex to continue improving its innovative services, offering clients the ability to buy, hold, exchange instantly, and spend numerous cryptocurrencies at the best-in-market rates within one platform.
Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex noted in the press release that the development represents a growing interest and recognition in the acceptance of cryptocurrency by leading bodies and regulators.
WireX Fostering Adoption in Europe and the Asia Pacific
Wirex has been proliferating in recent months with expansions into Europe and the Asia Pacific region and plans to enter the US market.
Their work with Mastercard will now accelerate innovation and empower consumers with more choice in the way they pay, according to Raj Dhamodharan, executive VC on Digital Asset and Blockchain Products for Mastercard.
Mastercard also publicized that Wirex has become the first crypto payment platform for a Mastercard principal membership, which will enable the startup to issue crypto payment cards directly.
Thanks to the principal membership, Wirex card users will be able to convert their crypto holdings into fiat currency immediately, which can be spent at points of sale that accept Mastercard.
Clients also stand to gain incentives via the Wirex Cryptoback program, which awards them 1.5% back in Bitcoin for every purchase made in-store.
Mastercard’s Accelerate Program Makes all Currencies Equal
Interestingly, currency from WireX will enter Mastercard’s network in the form of fiat, not crypto, offering convenience for the over 3 million active users who aren’t “typically hardcore cryptocurrency users” according to the Wirex CEO.
Thanks to Mastercard’s Accelerate program, more crypto firms with principal membership will soon be able to empower users to experience a world where all currencies, traditional and crypto, are equal, making it easier to transact with one’s crypto holdings seamlessly.
Prior to partnering with Wirex, Mastercard teamed up with blockchain payments provider BitPay in Jun. 2020 to launch a prepaid card for crypto users in the US.