In another venture within the digital asset space, Mastercard is preparing to expand the cryptocurrency economy in a whole new way, according to a recent report. The payment services giant will soon announce the provision of crypto-integrated services to every bank and merchant on its network.
Mastercard’s Big Crypto Plan
As revealed by CNBC earlier today, banks using Mastercard will be able to integrate cryptocurrency into many of their products. These could include credit and debit cards that enable Bitcoin payments, or loyalty programs for converting airline or hotel points into BTC. It may even include Bitcoin wallets.
Sherri Haymond – Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships – said she is eager to bring crypto services to the mainstream financial world.
“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing. Our partners, be they banks, fintechs or merchants can offer their customers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through an integration with the Bakkt platform.”
To facilitate the service, Mastercard has collaborated with Bakkt – which will provide crypto-custody services for clients behind the scenes. Bakkt has partnered with multiple corporate giants in the past including Google, and was recently listed on the NYSE recently.
Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael elaborated on the features that come with the partnership. He confirmed that even restaurants and merchants would be able to convert their rewards points into Bitcoin. He said these services help lower the barrier to entry for people by letting them earn cryptocurrency without sacrificing real cash.
Refusing to Miss the Boat
Bitcoin has seen a string of successes as of late. It broke an all-time high last week, and also saw the first approval of a US Bitcoin Futures ETF.
Given the increasing interest in the asset, institutions have quickly asked Mastercard for assistance in providing crypto-related services. By integrating now, they are saving themselves from losing existing clients that may migrate to established crypto exchanges instead.
The competitive rush into digital assets will only help accelerate cryptocurrency adoption. In this case, Mastercard’s infrastructure could help average people reimagine how they use digital currencies in their daily lives. The company is connected with more than 20,000 financial institutions around the world. Meanwhile, over 2.8 billion Mastercards are in use.