BTC Markets, one of Australia’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, can now (finally!) accept card payments thanks to a new partnership with Mastercard.

It makes BTC Markets (which has more than 325,000 Aussie clients, who’ve traded over AUD $21 billion in digital assets) the first Australian crypto exchange to enter a strategic merchant partnership directly with the financial services giant.

Fellow Aussie exchange CoinJar launched a prepaid Mastercard in partnership with EML Payment Solutions (ASX:EML) in August last year.

Previously, BTC Markets users could only make payments into the platform via bank transfer, so this is a big step forward for the exchange. It will mean more payment options – direct debit, prepaid and credit card payments – and a more seamless, e-commerce-style experience.

Additionally, the partnership will see BTC Markets benefit from Mastercard’s range of payments and fraud technologies and capabilities that focus on transactional safety and security.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said: “As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to grow and evolve, customers are increasingly looking for faster and simpler ways to access cryptocurrency securely and efficiently.

“Mastercard shares our focus on stability, innovation and consumer protection, and enables us to offer our clients new ways to engage with this emerging digital asset class.”

Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia for Mastercard meanwhile said: “The partnership will see BTC Markets leverage our technology to provide a smart, simple and safe way for consumers to top up their digital cryptocurrency wallets, delivering a frictionless e-commerce experience.”


More recent BTC Markets partnerships

The Mastercard news makes it BTC Markets’ third strategic partnership announcement in the past six months.

In September, the Melbourne-based exchange joined forces with Australian neobank Volt Bank to access their banking-as-a-service platform.

“It’s so innovative, so forward-looking, a real feather in the cap for fintech in Australia,” BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler told Stockhead at the time. “It’s a global first, I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world that has a partnership of this kind.”

That partnership was then followed by a trading arrangement with Australia’s fourth-largest online broking platform  SelfWealth in February.

Regarding all three recent partnerships, Bowler this week said that the exchange wants to “create an ecosystem” under one roof for its users “to complement their existing finance relationships in the banking, payments and investments space”.

“From BTC Markets’ point of view, it’s about understanding the needs of our Australian consumers seeking to access crypto safely and securely,” Bowler added.


ASIC announces ‘badges of approval’ for crypto exchanges

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that approved Aussie crypto exchanges can now receive an official stamp of approval.

Any exchange recognised by the Australian government will gain an ASIC-authorised “badge” – for display on its website etc – designed to signify a stamp of quality.

Minister for Digital Economy Jane Hume, meanwhile, was speaking at Australian Blockchain Week 2022 last week and announced that the Australian government will “let Australians invest in crypto assets safely and securely” by establishing a market-licence regime for crypto exchanges.

“Australian investors will be sure that if they use a licensed Australian exchange, they can trust that exchange will deliver on its commitments to customers and have appropriate protections,” said Hume.

‘The crypto industry, and its applications in DeFi, is one of the most exciting frontiers I have seen,” added the minister. “If you want to be a pioneer on the virtual frontier of innovation, Australia is open for business. As the Minister for the Digital Economy, and the Minister for Financial Services, I am backing you.’