Mastercard is offering banks and merchants the chance to integrate crypto into their payment and rewards structures – a first for a major payment network. The move will help further boost the accessibility of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which continues to enjoy widespread success and growth. Here are all the details:
Mastercard Set to Offer Crypto Integration to Banks, Merchants
Mastercard will offer crypto integration to any bank or merchant that uses its payment network. A new CNBC report states that Mastercard will provide crypto integration through Bakkt, including credit and debit cards.
The move by Mastercard will significantly shift how consumers earn – and use cryptocurrencies. Because of Mastercard’s immense global footprint, more and more consumers will have the opportunity to join in the crypto revolution. To date, there are 2.8 billion Mastercards in use, according to the company.
Cryptocurrencies Appear Here to Stay
Crypto has enjoyed continued popularity in recent years, with more lenders seeking to provide rewards as Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. While crypto credit cards (like the Upgrade Visa® Card with Bitcoin Rewards) have attracted concordable attention, spending Bitcoin and other cryptos has remained challenging – until now.
Mastercard’s crypto integration will make it easier for banks, lenders, and merchants to better utilize cryptocurrencies – keeping users on their networks and services versus third-party Bitcoin and other crypto wallets and exchanges. The new partnership with Bakkt, a publicly-traded crypto firm, will allow merchants and banks to offer rewards in cryptocurrency rather than traditional rewards points.
“Lowering the Barriers to Entry”
“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing,” Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, told CNBC in an interview. “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 Baktt platform.”
“We’re lowering the barriers to entry, allowing people to take something like your rewards points and trade them into crypto,” said Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael in an interview. “It’s an easy way to get going because you’re not using cash, you’re putting something that’s an idle asset sitting on your balance sheet, and we’re allowing you to put it into work.”
Related Article: The Best Fintech & Crypto Credit Cards of 2021