Mastercard Launches Stablecoin Settlement Card

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  • Mastercard and stablecoin platform Stables have linked up to launch a virtual card that allows users to save and spend stablecoins
  • The card will be accepted anywhere in the APAC region in which Mastercard cards are accepted
  • Conversions will be done on the fly

Mastercard has announced a scheme to allow retail customers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to spend their stablecoins anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The pilot, a collaboration with Australian stablecoin platform Stables, will see users of the Stables stablecoin wallet given a Mastercard card which enables them to save and spend USD Coin (USDC) by converting it into fiat and settling the payment on Mastercard’s network. The move represents the first real-world integration of Mastercard’s stablecoin settlement plans, which date back to 2021, and appears to be the fruition of to launch crypto-backed cards in the APAC region.

Mastercard and Stables Make Crypto Payments Easy

Mastercard’s desire to settle stablecoins into fiat currency on its platform has been bubbling away for over two years now, with the company revealing in 2021 that it was gearing up its network for the acceptance of stablecoins and CBDCs. This was followed a few months later by an announcement that planned to issue crypto-linked payment cards to APAC residents, enabling them to convert digital assets into fiat currencies using Mastercard credit, debit, and prepaid cards.

It is these plans which have seemingly resulted in this deal with Stables, which stables actually announced back on March 7, saying that the linkup means that users will no longer have to first convert their stablecoins into local currency before spending, something that has been holding back the advancement of crypto debit cards ever since their implementation in the mid-2010s.

Mastercard Aiming to Dominate Crypto Settlement Landscape

The Stables prepaid card will be a virtual-only card that allows users to load their balance with one of a number of recognized stablecoins which they can then use both online and in stores for regular everyday purchases as easily as any other virtual debit or credit card. 

Mastercard is no doubt planning to expand such a facility to the rest of the world once the kinks have been worked out, and it is undeniable that having payment giants such as Mastercard and Visa investing into such advancements that we might finally be on the verge of bridging the convenience gap between crypto and fiat currency spending.