MasterCard is intensifying its interest in cryptocurrencies. The firm has granted Wirex principal membership status.
MasterCard announced in a July 20, 2020 press release it was simplifying access to its Accelerate program for cryptocurrency card issuers. The principal membership status offered to Wirex enables the firm to issue crypto payment cards to consumers. This will allow users to buy, hold, and exchange multiple traditional and cryptocurrencies. Wirex co-founder and CEO Pavel Matveev said:
“We are very excited for Wirex to be the first crypto-native company granted principal membership from MasterCard […] it represents a growing interest and recognition in the acceptance of cryptocurrency by leading bodies and regulators and will help us to realize our vision of empowering everyone to experience a world where all currencies, traditional and crypto, are equal.”
MasterCard is inviting other cryptocurrency operators to join its Accelerate Program for FinTech and emerging brands. This will enable fast onboarding and technical growth support. The firm said the applicants would be onboarded as a partner in a matter of weeks. The Accelerate program allows partners to’ easy entry into the market, continued growth, and international expansion.
As per the release, MasterCard will assist its new crypto partners in integrating its technology. This will enable them to take advantage of the firm’s cybersecurity expertise and market research. MasterCard is restructuring the process of getting access to its program, but insists all partners must comply with its “core principles.” MasterCard’s Executive Vice President, Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships Raj Dhamodharan 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.”
Convert Cryptocurrencies into Fiat Currency
Regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Wirex offers a payment platform that automatically exchanges crypto into fiat currencies. The firm announced earlier this year it had reached over 3 million active users stating that most of them are “not typically hardcore cryptocurrency users.” Before Wirex, MasterCard had partnered with BitPay.
The London-based crypto payment processor Wirex will be the first native cryptocurrency platform to be granted a MasterCard principal membership. This will allow it to issue crypto payment cards directly. The membership enables Wirex card users to convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat currency immediately. The currency can be spent at points of sale that accept MasterCard. The money will thus enter MasterCard’s network in the form of fiat, not a cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency adoption relies heavily on companies and services, making digital currencies as easy to use as cash. Decentralized finance and second-layer payment technologies are playing a prominent role in widespread reach and acceptance of cryptocurrencies.