Mastercard partners with Bakkt to bring cryptocurrency services to hundreds of millions of U.S. customers
Yesterday at the Money 20/20 fintech event, Mastercard announced that it is partnering with Bakkt to bring cryptocurrency solutions and services to U.S.-based merchants, banks and fintech companies. Combining Mastercard’s wide network capabilities with Bakkt’s trusted digital asset platform with integrated custodial wallets, the new partnership seeks to raise crypto awareness and exposure, allowing hundreds of millions of U.S. consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets.
Mastercard’s cryptocurrency services will also be integrated with the existing loyalty solutions. This way, partners can offer cryptocurrency as rewards and consumers can swap loyalty points for digital assets, seamlessly converting their crypto holdings to pay for goods. Bakkt EVP Nancy Gordon points out that brands and merchants are currently looking to appeal to younger consumers who prefer non-traditional transactions, so Mastercard and Bekkt have this unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, streamlined payments and rewards flexibility.
Similar services could soon be enabled in other countries, as Mastercard stated back in February that it will support crypto on its global network, allowing almost 1 billion customers to make cryptocurrency payments at more than 30 million partnered merchants across the world. For now, the exact cryptocurrencies supported by Mastercard are unknown.
Following in Paypal’s and Visa’s footsteps, Mastercard has several other crypto-related initiatives, including the acquisition of the CipherTrace crypto risk mitigation company, partnerships with leading crypto players, and the creation of new platforms to test and support central bank digital currencies. Meanwhile, Bakkt became a publicly traded company on the NYSE, and as noted by CoinTelegraph, it has also partnered with Google to allow easy crypto-to-fiat conversion for purchases through Google Pay.