Mastercard is about to announce that all banks and merchants using its payments network will be able to integrate crypto services.
Mastercard opens up to crypto services with Bakkt
This is made possible through a partnership with Bakkt, made public today by the two companies in an official statement.
The partnership aims to make it easier for merchants, banks and fintechs in the US to use crypto solutions and services.
Bakkt will provide Mastercard with Crypto-as-a-Service solutions, which provide quick access to cryptocurrency-related functionality.
The services made possible by this collaboration include the ability for consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets via custodian wallets based on the Bakkt platform, and simplified issuance of crypto credit and debit cards.
Mastercard will also integrate cryptocurrencies into its loyalty solutions, allowing it to offer cryptocurrencies as prizes or rewards for loyalty points. Consumers will be able to earn and spend cryptocurrency rewards, instead of traditional loyalty points, and then convert their cryptocurrencies to pay for regular purchases.
Bakkt’s US Consumer Crypto Survey revealed that almost half of respondents (48%) reported buying cryptocurrency in the first half of 2021, while 32% of those who have not done so say they are interested in doing so before the end of the year.
According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 77% of millennials said they were interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies, with 75% saying they would use them if they understood it better.
Bakkt and new flexible payments solutions
Mastercard operates one of the largest global payments networks, so much so that there are 2.8 billion Mastercard cards in circulation today. The company has relationships with more than 20,000 financial institutions worldwide.
Bakkt was listed on the New York Stock Exchange last week, and its share price rose more than 100% after the release.
Mastercard’s executive vice president of Digital Partnerships, Sherri Haymond, said:
“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day. Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation, we’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options, but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences”.
Bakkt’s EVP Loyalty Rewards & Payments, Nancy Gordon, added:
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers. As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility”.