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Mastercard to expand crypto payment card program

mastercard-to-expand-crypto-payment-card-program
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Mastercard to expand crypto payment card program

Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s head of crypto and blockchain, stated that the payment company intends to grow its cryptocurrency payment card program by looking for further collaborations with crypto businesses. 

The move is being taken despite the recent scrutiny by regulators on banks and the cryptocurrency industry.

Mastercard to explore new crypto partnerships

Dhamodharan has cited the desire to give people access to cryptocurrency in a secure manner as the motivation behind Mastercard’s expansion plans.

Mastercard already has hundreds of international partners that supply crypto card programs. It has worked with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Nexo, and Gemini. 

The company’s partnership with Binance enabled users with Binance cards to pay in conventional currencies using the funds from their exchange-held bitcoin holdings.

Concerns over crypto transactions

Banks are, however, now cautious about dealing with cryptocurrency clients due to the failure of several major cryptocurrency companies last year, including leading exchange FTX.

To safeguard customers from fraud and scams, certain banks, including Santander and NatWest, have set limits on the volume of money U.K. residents can transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Mastercard’s rival Visa ended its international credit card arrangements with FTX in November 2022. In February, American Express said it did not anticipate that cryptocurrency would soon replace its primary lending and payment services.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are stepping up regulations enforcement due to what they claim is a lack of market compliance. 

For instance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, was sued in March by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which claimed that it ran an “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance program.

Mastercard’s stance on limited transactions

When asked if Mastercard was considering limiting the amount of money that may be transferred to cryptocurrency exchanges via its payments network, Dhamodharan responded, “We’re not here to pick winners. We’re not here to pick which transaction should or shouldn’t happen.”

Dhamodharan also added that the company has invested in crypto analytics technologies, and users of the Mastercard network must pass a series of compliance tests.

Lastly, he claims that Mastercard is excited about the underlying blockchain technology behind cryptocurrency. The company also anticipate an increase in cash flow despite the heightened regulations.