Singapore residents will soon be able to make purchases with a prepaid Visa card backed by the cryptocurrency platform Monaco.
“Our team has worked incredibly hard over the past year to achieve this milestone. This is an important step towards Monaco’s vision to introduce cryptocurrency to the mass market,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Monaco, in a press release. “We believe that the Monaco card program lays solid foundation for Monaco’s growth, and we’re grateful to all partners for their support. The demand for the Monaco Visa prepaid cards has exceeded our expectations with over 17,000 cards reserved, based on word of mouth alone. With perfect interbank exchange rates, and 0.75 percent cryptocurrency cash back on all transactions, the Monaco Visa prepaid card will become the card of choice for consumers. More perks will be added over time to turn the Monaco Visa prepaid card into a dominant force in payments.”
Both iOS and Android users in Singapore will be able to download the Monaco app and select one of five available Monaco Visa prepaid card options, including the Monaco Visa Platinum. They will then have to complete a three-minute onboarding process to get on the waiting list.
With the Monaco app, users will be able to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and Ethereum, at the 44 million merchant locations registered with Visa – and without currency exchange fees. All exchanges to legal tender currency will be managed by Monaco before users transact on the Visa network.
For Monaco, Singapore is just the beginning of this program. According to Bloomberg Technology, the company recently hired Brent Diehl, a former Visa executive, to lead its international expansion into Europe, North America and the rest of Asia.
Monaco gained as much as 695 percent in value beginning on May 17, when it tweeted it would offer a Visa-branded payment card, although there wasn’t a set deal in place at that time.
In addition to its deal with Monaco, Visa has approved programs for BitPay and Shift Card that allow consumers to convert cryptocurrencies into legal tender and deposit the funds into a bank account linked to a Visa debit or prepaid card, Visa spokeswoman Lea Cademenos said in an email to Bloomberg.