Kazakhstan launched the first CBDC card in Eurasia

November 17, 2023 | By Oksana Fedorova

Kazakhstan is the leader on digital payment in Central Asia region. The first Central Bank Digital Currency card issued by Eurasian Bank and powered Mastercard was presented on the 30th anniversary of the Tenge, Kazakhstan’s national currency. The Digital Tenge Card instantly converts funds to traditional Tenge currency and is available to make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted in Kazakhstan and around the world. 

The first Digital Tenge Card transaction was made At the XI Congress of Financiers of Kazakhstan on Nov, 15th, 2023, on a POS-terminal that supports direct transactions between accounts in the national digital currency.

The Digital Tenge Card is the first CBDC card in Eurasian region and, looking ahead, opens up new opportunities for providing innovative financial services based on the Digital Tenge.

Cardholders can safely spend Digital Tenge in person at retail outlets, online stores and on various websites. The card can be stored in the consumer's phone, watch or physical wallet. For merchants, the advantages of the card include even greater choice of payment methods to be accepted with no infrastructure upgrades required, such as no need to install additional equipment or update software. An important factor is security - cardholders are provided with Mastercard’s leading technology and benefits that protect cardholders and merchants from fraud and guarantee the security and benefits of the international payment system.

Card will leverage Mastercard's secure, scalable, and reliable payments technology to make it easier for people to make purchases with Digital Tenge in everyday transactions in Kazakhstan and at more than 100 million acceptance points worldwide.

The testing and introduction of a new form of national currency in Kazakhstan is led by JSC National Payments Corporation of Kazakhstan. The three-stage introduction of the Digital Tenge currency is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Mastercard continues to harness the opportunities of the blockchain and digital assets ecosystem – including its work with governments and leading blockchain technology and payment service providers to explore, test and deploy real-life use cases for CBDCs. This includes the participation in several global pilots in addition to the launch of its CBDC Partner Program.  

Oksana Fedorova, Director, Area Marketing, Mastercard EEMEA