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Mastercard to allow banks and merchants to offer crypto services on its network

Mastercard has partnered with the crypto firm Bakkt, which was recently spun off from Intercontinental Exchange.

Photo by OpenClipart-Vectors of Pixabay

Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 11:59 am UTC

Crypto adoption will soon get a major boost with Mastercard’s planned rollout of a new feature on its network. The payments giant wants to give the thousands of banks and millions of merchants on its payment network the capability of offering their own crypto products on the platform, according to CNBC.

To make it happen, Mastercard has partnered with the crypto firm Bakkt, which was recently spun off from Intercontinental Exchange. Bakkt will act as the behind-the-scenes provider for crypto custodial and other services for those banks and merchants that wish to offer crypto products to their customers via Mastercard’s platform.

“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing,” Mastercard vice president of digital partnerships Sherri Haymond said 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.”

Banks and merchants could offer Bitcoin wallets or debit and credit cards that allow purchases to be paid in crypto and earn rewards in crypto as well. These cards can also offer loyalty programs that allow the conversion of airline and hotel points into BTC.

Mastercard is one of the largest payments networks in the world and maintains relationships with more than 20,000 financial institutions worldwide. Enabling these institutions to offer their own crypto products and services on the platform could significantly boost crypto usage among card users. There are around 2.8 billion Mastercards in use worldwide.

Haymond said that there has been increasing interest in crypto among Mastercard clients who asked the payments giant to help them in providing crypto services. This way, banks and financial institutions can still keep customers on their own platforms rather than losing them to crypto exchanges.

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