Payments giant Mastercard is about to announce that its massive network of merchants and banks will soon be able to add cryptocurrencies into their business operations. The company is making these plans in partnership with Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform.
The products covered in this expansion will include Bitcoin (BTC) wallets, credit and debit cards that can earn crypto rewards and spend them on digital assets, and loyalty programs that will allow hotel guests and airline customers to convert their accumulated points into crypto, according to CNBC.
Mastercard partners, including banks, merchants, and fintechs, will be able to offer their customers the option to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency on the Baktt platform, according to Sherri Haymond, the Executive Vice President of digital partnerships at Mastercard.
Executives in the two organizations said that Bakkt will provide custodial services to partners who will sign-up. Mastercard claims that it has partnerships with over 22,000 financial institutions worldwide. Considering the size of the Mastercard’s global payments infrastructure, this expansion will boost cryptocurrency adoption worldwide.
Last July, Mastercard hosted about 27.2bn switched transactions in the second quarter of 2021; 2.85bn Mastercard and Maestro cards were used. This generated total net revenue of $4.53bn between April and June 2021. This was a solid 35.8% increase compared with the same period in the previous year.
This development is part of Mastercard’s wider crypto-oriented drive. Last September, the payments giant took over crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace to extend its capabilities deeper into the digital assets industry.