Mastercard partners with Bakkt to expand its crypto services.
2.8 billion Mastercard users can now buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies in a Bakkt custodial wallet.
2.8 billion cardholders and 20,000 financial institutions could get access to crypto.
Will Mastercard integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions?
Mastercard is climbing into crypto
Traditional financial services, which were once wary of crypto for a long time, are now helping them achieve mainstream adoption.
Mastercard adds support for crypto services
In the last couple of months, Mastercard has carefully begun to ladder into the crypto sector, partnering with Uphold and BitPay to allow people to convert their crypto into fiat quickly. However, the global pioneer in payment innovation has failed to offer a full crypto service.
On 25 October, Mastercard announced a partnership with Bakkt, a trusted digital asset marketplace. The partnership with Bakkt will extend Mastercard’s ecosystem of cryptocurrency partners (Uphold, BitPay, Gemini), enabling Crypto-as-a-Service to all Mastercard holders.
As a result of the partnership, banks and financial institutions offering Mastercard credit and debit cards can now enable customers to buy, sell, and hold crypto through Bakkt custodial wallets. In addition, Mastercard will also issue Bakkt-branded crypto debit and credit cards.
According to Mastercard, its recent crypto expansion will impact over 20,000 financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, that have integrated its services. In addition, the partnership will give the holders of more than 2.8 billion Mastercards (debit and credit) in circulation potential access into the crypto investment world.
Mastercard’s executive vice president has explained that the payment agency wants to offer all its partners easy access to crypto. By lowering the barrier to entry into the crypto space, Mastercard and its partners will be able to keep its users’ funds looking to delve into crypto rather than have them moved to crypto exchanges.
Mastercard loyalty program
In addition to offering Crypto-as-a-Service to its users, Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions. The Bakkt-powered cards will allow customers to pay down their balance and earn loyalty points with Bitcoin.
Mastercard has previously partnered with the crypto company Gemini, allowing its customers to earn rewards in cryptocurrency based on their spending activity.
Similar to its partnership with Gemini, customers will earn rewards in crypto. However, its new crypto loyal program will allow airline and hotel points to be converted into bitcoin.
In a statement, the vice president of Bakkt, Nancy Gordon, explained that “these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy the increasing demand for crypto, payment, and rewards flexibility.”
Mastercard’s Bakkt announcement is a weak bullish indicator, promising that cryptocurrencies will soon find a new home on the platforms of traditional financial giants like Mastercard, potentially allowing billions of new users access to safe crypto storage. Of course, regulations will intervene in many countries. However, these companies are well-equipped to handle compliance and also will bring with them proven security measures, and insurance.
This is great for the crypto industry, as it makes the space safer and brings new users into the space. New users mean new crypto buyers and more green candles, especially if it’s safe and easy for casual investors to buy their first crypto.