Global payment provider Mastercard is launching a stablecoin digital wallet integration with the Australian stablecoin platform Stables.
Mastercard and Stables on March 20 announced a collaboration to allow retail customers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to spend their stablecoins anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
The collaboration involves a stablecoin-only wallet built by Stables, coming with a payment card supported by Mastercard. The payment card enables users to save and spend the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin by converting the digital currency into fiat and settling on Mastercard’s network. The card will be accessible through the Stables digital application via mobile wallets.
According to Mastercard Australasia’s head of fintech, Kallan Hogan, the company’s collaboration with Stables is a significant development in terms of Web3 adoption.
“Mastercard is committed to powering innovative payment solutions that give cardholders the freedom to spend their assets where, how, and when they want,” Hogan said, adding:
“Stables is building a solution for the Web3 sector leveraging Mastercard’s global network and cyber and intelligence tools, including CipherTrace and Ekata, with trust and security at the core.”
The Mastercard-enabled wallet integration will become available for users in the second quarter of 2023, Stables co-founder and chief operating officer Daniel Li told Cointelegraph. The stablecoin digital Mastercard will be initially available for users based in Australia and is then planned to enter Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and most of Asia Pacific.
The payment solution deploys Stables’ proprietary settlement engine that processes all payments using USDC and works directly with Mastercard to enable settlement, Li stated. At the same time, the wallet will accept deposits in a number of stablecoins, including rival stablecoin Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD), but all the deposits will be automatically converted into USDC at no cost.
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According to Li, Stables is confident in USDC’s future despite the recent issues involving the collapse of Silvergate Bank. The COO stated:
“Stablecoins will play a pivotal role in the new financial system and will be core to bridging the worlds of traditional and decentralized finance. Stables will continue to work with USDC and Circle as a pivotal part of that ecosystem.”
In addition to crypto, users can also top up their balances using bank transfers, direct debit and other modes of payment, Li said. At launch, Stables supports deposits and withdrawals in the Australian dollar, with soon-to-come integrations including the U.S. dollar, euro, the British pound, as well as currencies frothe APAC, Latin America and Africa.
Update March 21, 7:00 UTC: the article has been updated to reflect that Daniel Li is chief operating officer (not CEO) at Stables.