Marqeta, a payment card issuing platform, has announced its partnership with Australian stablecoin firm Stables, to offer prepaid Mastercard cards. Stables currently offers a digital wallet, and stores balances in the USDC stablecoin. With the Marqeta-Mastercard partnership, users will be able to spend their digital wallet balance via the card wherever Mastercard is accepted, online or in physical locations. Just-in-Time funding feature of Marqeta will not require users to preload balances, making it more convenient for users.
Stables is also preparing to introduce wallet-to-wallet transfers and interest-bearing “earn” features. The card will be launched soon, as suggested by Stables’ website. However, the exact launch date is not provided yet.
Marqeta works in close partnership with Mastercard and Visa, and in October 2020, Mastercard announced that it would expand its global partnership with Marqeta to launch new card programs in various regions. Mastercard Australasia head of fintech, Kallan Hogan, has also confirmed that Stables’ payment card will rely on Mastercard’s global network and services, including its recent blockchain surveillance acquisition Ciphertrace.
It is unclear how much of an active role Mastercard has in the partnership with Stables. However, Mastercard powers several other crypto-enabled cards, including those offered by Nexo, Uphold, Wirex, Bitpay, Revolut, and various other crypto firms.
In conclusion, the Marqeta-Mastercard partnership with Stables is another example of the growing adoption of crypto payments and the partnerships between traditional payment processors and crypto companies. With the launch of the Stables prepaid Mastercard, it will be more convenient for users to spend their digital wallet balance, which is expected to drive the mainstream adoption of stablecoins and other crypto-enabled payment systems.