Mastercard Now Allows Crypto Firm Wirex to Issue Payment Cards

Mastercard said Wirex is the first crypto company to become a principal member, meaning it can directly issue payment cards to its customers.

Jul 20, 2020 at 9:01 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:33 a.m. UTC

Mastercard, one of the world’s largest payments processors, says Wirex has become the first native crypto company to be able to directly issue payment cards to its customers.

  • As part of an expansion of its cryptocurrency program, Mastercard said Monday it had granted Wirex principal membership status.
  • Regulated by the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Wirex offers a payment facility that automatically exchanges crypto into fiat currencies.
  • Wirex's original card had been with rival Visa; the company will now be able to use Mastercard's network for fiat currency payments.
  • Mastercard processed more than $1.6 trillion in Q1 2020; an 8% increase year-on-year.
  • Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's executive vice president on digital assets and blockchain, said the company wanted to work within a maturing cryptocurrency industry.
  • Mastercard also said it had made its processes easier for other crypto companies to become principal members as well as access some of its acceleration programs.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.