Mastercard has revealed that the thousands of United States-based banks, fintech firms, and merchants working within its payments network will now be able to offer crypto-related services for its clients after signing a new deal with crypto asset company Bakkt.
According to the statement on October 25, the behemoth credit card payment processor will integrate crypto into its network and allow its customers to buy, sell, and store crypto assets through custodial wallets provided by Bakkt. The Mastercard-Bakkt cooperation will also enable cardholders to earn and spend reward points in cryptocurrencies instead of using loyalty points, earning tokens, and redeeming them for various payments.
Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, noted that the company intends to offer easier exposure to crypto services to its partners and clients with this tie-up with Bakkt.
“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 mic of digital assets options but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”
For perspective, Mastercard is the world’s second-largest credit company, behind only Visa. It is presently working with over 20,000 financial institutions across the globe and boasts a user base of approximately 2.8 billion.
Haymond also suggested that the soaring institutional demand in crypto has motivated Mastercard’s latest project. Notably, the initiative will bring the crypto industry closer to linking with the legacy credit card payment sector.
In addition, Bakkt, which started trading under the ticker symbol “BKKT” on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month is attracting the attention of younger consumers.
“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 the increasing demand for crypto, payment, and rewards flexibility,” Bakkt’s vice president of Loyalty Rewards and Payments, Nancy Gordon said in the announcement.
It’s worth pointing out that Mastercard initially announced its intention to support crypto payments in February this year, putting emphasis on assets “for spending, not investment”.
Mastercard Joins Bandwagon As Crypto Makes Waves
Mastercard’s latest move with Bakkt comes amid renewed bullish momentum in the crypto markets.
Just last week, the market lodestar Bitcoin hit a new record near $67,000. The second-largest crypto Ethereum also reached a new all-time high of $4,370 shortly afterward.
The strong uptrend has for the most part been fueled by the recent rollout of the very first exchange-traded funds (ETF) for United States customers. At the moment, ProShares Bitcoin futures ETF and Valkyrie’s Bitcoin futures ETF are now trading on the Nasdaq.