Mastercard has taken another stride into the crypto space by partnering with Bakkt, a digital assets payments platform.
Mastercard will allow its US partners to issue branded crypto credit and debit cards powered by its payments network which will let consumers buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets supplied by Bakkt.
Consumers will be able to make payments using the crypto cards at outlets where Mastercard is accepted with their digital assets exchanged for fiat before the point of purchase.
“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.
“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,” she added.
Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its existing loyalty solutions letting partners offer digital assets as rewards and enabling consumers to earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency.
It comes amid growing demand for crypto with a recent Bakkt Consumer Crypto Survey conducted in the US finding that nearly half of respondents reported purchasing crypto in the first half of 2021, while 32 per cent of those who didn’t are either very or somewhat interested in doing so before the end of the year.
The Mastercard New Payments Index found that 77 per cent of millennials stated that they are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency, with three quarters saying that they would use cryptocurrency if they understood it better.
According to a joint statement the partnership builds on both companies’ commitment to the crypto ecosystem.
Just last week Bakkt publicly listed on the NYSE under the ticker BKKT, while Mastercard continues to invest in the digital asset space through several initiatives, including the acquisition of blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace and partnerships with leading crypto players.