Financial companies in Israel are increasingly moving into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), with two competing credit card firms working on BTC investment and cashback features.
Two Israel-based credit card companies, Max and Isracard, have inked partnerships with crypto-related platforms in order to allow cardholders to purchase Bitcoin, the local news agency Calcalist reported on May 17.
Max announced collaboration with the local crypto broker Bits of Gold to launch a crypto-enabled card called MaxBack Crypto. According to Max's official website, the card will offer cash back opportunities in BTC as well as the option to buy Bitcoin through a clearing agreement Bits of Gold.
Formerly known as Leumi Card, Max is one of the largest credit card processors and issuers in Israel and a major non-banking financial institution. The firm reportedly issued 1.6 million credit cards and provides clearing services to more than 40,000 merchants.
Max’s competitor, Isracard Group, is one of the biggest credit card companies in Israel, offering credit clearing services to four major credit card brands including American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Isracard.
Isracard is also not missing out on crypto, reportedly announcing a partnership with Israel’s major investment company Altshuler Shaham on May 17 as well.
Isracard specifically partnered with Altshuler’s crypto-focused subsidiary Altshuler Shaham Horizon to allow Isracard holders to purchase Bitcoin directly via its credit card.
As previously reported, Altshuler Shaham has expressed interest in Bitcoin investment before, with the firm investing $100 million into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in 2020.
“As the leading crypto company in the country, we are proud to launch this innovative collaboration, which will allow the general public to join the digital currency arena,” Horizon CEO Ilan Stark said. “If in the past this field belonged to the exotic part of the capital market, today we see more and more interest from investors and customers,” the exec added.