Mastercard expands Accelerate program for crypto payment card issuers

Wirex becomes first native cryptocurrency platform to be granted Mastercard principal membership

Mastercard has announced an expansion of its cryptocurrency program.

As part of the expansion, Mastercard has simplified access to its Accelerate program for crypto card issuers, allowing applicants to be onboarded as partners “in a matter of weeks.”

Mastercard also announced Wirex has become the first native cryptocurrency platform to be granted a Mastercard principal membership, allowing it to issue payment cards directly.

By streamlining its approval processes, Mastercard has effectively reduced the time to market for crypto card issuers. To gain access to the Accelerate program, cryptocurrency partnerships must provide strong consumer protections and a level playing field for all stakeholders, and they must be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Making it simpler and quicker for partners to bring secure payment cards to market, the Accelerate program supports partners with market entry, growth and international expansion. New partners can also integrate Mastercard’s proprietary technology and will benefit from the company’s data insights and cybersecurity services. 

Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships at 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.”

With Mastercard principal membership, Wirex can now issue payment cards directly to consumers, making it easier for them to buy, hold and exchange traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies. Users will also benefit from Wirex’s Cryptoback rewards program, which gives customers up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin for in-store purchases.

When cardholders want to use their cryptocurrency for purchase or trade, they can immediately convert their cryptocurrency into fiat currency for the country they’re in. The currency then enters the network for use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. 

“We are very excited for Wirex to be the first crypto-native company granted principal membership from Mastercard,” said Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex. 

“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,” Matveev continued.

Wirex isn’t the first crypto company Mastercard has teamed up with. In June, Mastercard also collaborated with BitPay to launch a prepaid card for crypto users in the US.

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