Visa Launches Bitcoin Card to Battle Mastercard in LatAm

Visa and Mastercard battle to give bitcoin exposure to its Latin American users with Ripio and Binance.

Credit Cards
Visa Launches Bitcoin Card to Battle Mastercard in LatAm

In Short

  • Ripio launched a Visa card for bitcoin purchases in Brazil.

  • Binance and Mastercard partnered to launch a card in Argentina.


The dispute between Visa and Mastercard to reach Bitcoin (BTC) users in Latin America with debit cards has recently escalated. Crypto asset exchange Ripio launched the most recent card in partnership with Visa for its users residing in Brazil. In the coming months, it will reach Argentina, a Brazilian media reported.


The executive hopes that the card will be a way to make the crypto ecosystem more present in people's routines, with cryptocurrency transactions occurring naturally. Because it is a prepaid card, it is available to all customers with a balance on the platform, eliminating the need for credit analysis for approval. The card will allow cash withdrawals and will not charge acquisition and monthly fees.


Ripio's Global Head of New Business, Henrique Teixeira, expects that 250 thousand users will be using the platform's card by December of this year. To get there, he foresees that the company will invest more than R$1.5 million in the new product. It may expand to other countries such as Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain, where the company also has a presence.


The new card, which can be obtained digitally through the exchange's website, allows payments with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and with the Brazilian real, the country's official currency. Additionally, the card will have a rewards program. Users can get 5% bitcoin cashback on every purchase they make.



Mastercard to launch card with Binance

On the other hand, the Binance exchange and Mastercard also read the cryptocurrency market and its importance for Latin American users. Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said they are closely working with Binance. They want to allow people to use their crypto to make purchases in more than 90 million worldwide stores accepting Mastercard.


Miebach said blockchain must become "easier to access and use. One way to do that is to bring cryptocurrencies into everyday purchases," he argued. The hashtag Binance trended on Twitter on August 24 after Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach posted details about its initiative to enable cryptocurrency purchases worldwide.


"We can unlock the full potential of blockchain technology when we make it easier to access and easier to use," Miebach on LinkedIn. And he argued that one way to do that is by bringing cryptocurrencies to everyday purchases.


The service will initially be ready only for customers in Argentina, and they plan to expand from there to other countries. With these moves, Visa and Mastercard moved a long-standing commercial rivalry into the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies focused on the Latin American public. The news is no surprise to anyone, as the region has become one of the largest adopters of crypto assets. Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia are at the top of that list.


Venezuela ranks eighth among the countries with the most cryptocurrency holders., with 18%, behind countries such as Ghana or Vietnam. In this aspect, India has the leadership with 29%, according to a study conducted in August 2022 by the market information and analysis company Finder.


Among the other Latin American countries that are among the nations that have also adopted crypto assets is Brazil, with 17%, just behind Venezuela. Colombia has 15%, Argentina and Mexico have 13%.

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