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.
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