- J Huang and M Bacina
Stables and Mastercard saddle up for USDC point of sale payments
Stables, Australia's home-grown payment provider has entered into a deal to permit users to spend their stablecoins anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Stables says their stablecoin wallet is the first in APAC to partner with Mastercard. It will enable users to spend USD Coins (USDC), which will be converted to fiat currency and settled on Mastercard’s network. This wallet will be integrated with a virtual prepaid card, which will be accessible through the Stables digital app. This will enable users to directly spend their stablecoin balance on everyday purchases.
Stables Co-Founder and CEO Erez Rachamim said the introduction of stablecoin payments for everyday purchases marks a significant step in the maturity of cryptocurrency in the Asia-Pacific market:
As adoption for digital assets increases across the globe people are requiring simple and accessible means to get utility from their digital assets in the real world...Customers spend as they usually would using stablecoins, with transactions then settled by Stables’ payment gateway enabling real-time transactions using USDC...Conversion and settlement occur behind the scenes, secured with digital asset custody technology provider Fireblocks, thus enabling users to checkout as they normally would with a debit card.
The Mastercard-enabled wallet integration will become available for users in the second quarter of 2023. The stablecoin digital Mastercard will be initially available for users based in Australia and is then planned to be released in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and most of Asia Pacific.
Kallan Hogan, Vice President of Business Development and Head of Fintech, Australasia, Mastercard said：
Mastercard is committed to powering innovative payment solutions that give cardholders the freedom to spend their assets where, how, and when they want. 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
While the Stables wallet is the first stablecoin wallet that partners with Mastercard in APAC, Mastercard has previously launched several crypto payment cards as part of its Global Crypto Card Program. It was reported that Visa is also actively looking to catch up in this field.
Interest in adopting stablecoins and blockchain technology in everyday payment continues to rise with two of Australia’s major banks, ANZ and NAB, both creating their own stablecoins in the past 12 months.
NAB Executive General Manager Markets Drew Bradford said banks are investing to develop Australia’s safest, simplest and most secure digital asset ecosystem:
We believe that elements of the future of finance will be blockchain enabled and we’re already witnessing rapid change in the tokenisation market,
Mr Bradford also added:
Like Stables, NAB in forming its own stablecoin ‘AUDN’, partnered with Fireblocks to facilitate minting and burning its stablecoin and managing the direct custody of the digital assets on the blockchain technology.
After the events of 2022, it's great to see stablecoins emerging increasingly as the good news story of Blockchain for 2023.