Last updated on April 24th, 2023
Mastercard’s new partnership with Gemini – and other cryptocurrency firms – is “an act of brilliance,” according to its head of fintech. How does Mastercard, the world’s second-largest payment network, see the future of crypto evolving, and is this the start of a new trend in crypto credit card rewards?
Mastercard Call Gemini Card Partnership “an Act of Brilliance”
Speaking at the Consensus conference in May, Jessica Turner, Mastercard’s global head of new digital infrastructure and fintech, described the payment network’s new partnership with Gemini as “an act of brilliance.” The partnership, one of Mastercard’s many with fintech and crypto firms, will launch a new crypto rewards credit card – the Gemini Rewards Mastercard later this year.
The new Gemini Mastercard is an interesting cash back crypto credit card from Gemini, a leading cryptocurrency exchange and WebBank. The card will offer real-time crypto rewards, no annual fee, and up to 3% back on eligible purchases.
Crypto Rewards Set to Upset Traditional Cash Back Rewards
While the Gemini Mastercard is an early example of a crypto credit card, it isn’t the only one. More and more fintech startups are targeting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other stablecoin currencies as a new form of rewards – intending to upset the traditional, fiat money approach to cash back.
This shift in rewards has grown significantly over the last 18 months, according to Turner. “Certainly three years ago, people probably weren’t as excited about earning crypto as they are now,” she said in pre-recorded comments at the conference. “Understanding that and using it as an opportunity to get more people involved in the cryptocurrency space in a safe way by offering rewards with something that people know how to use in their everyday life – which is Mastercard – is really an act of brilliance.”
Mastercard Eyes Security of Stablecoin
Mastercard’s involvement with fintech and crypto firms, like Gemini, follows an earlier announcement that the company would fast-track projects with digital currencies – especially stablecoins. According to Turner, the preference for stablecoin is no accident – it represents the best option in the world of extremely volatile cryptocurrencies:
“We announced recently that we will support stablecoins on our network, and that’s because stablecoins don’t have volatility,” Turner stated. “It could be stablecoins today, it can be our normal card network other days, it can be an ACH for other things. We’re a multi-rail organization.”
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