Mastercard Will Now Allow Banks and Merchants to Buy, Sell, and Pay with Crypto

Payment giant Mastercard is now preparing to allow millions of merchants and thousands of banks on its network to integrate cryptocurrency into their products soon announced the company on Monday.

This will cover bitcoin wallets, debit and credit cards that enable spending crypto assets and earning rewards in crypto, and loyalty programs where the airline or hotel points can be converted into digital currency.

For this, Mastercard is partnering with Bakkt, which will provide custodial services. Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, in an interview, said,

“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing.”

“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.”

The company has more than 20,000 financial institutions as part of its network. Also, there are 2.8 billion Mastercards in use.

The growing interest in crypto this year has Mastercard clients also asking them to help in providing crypto services, said Haymond. According to her, this will allow banks to keep customers on their platforms instead of having their dollars migrate to crypto exchanges. Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said,

“We’re lowering the barriers to entry, allowing people to take something like your rewards points and trade them into crypto.”

“It’s an easy way to get going because you’re not using cash, you’re putting something that’s an idle asset sitting on your balance sheet, and we’re allowing you to put in to work.”

This is in line with earlier findings that nearly half (48%) of respondents purchased crypto in the first half of 2021, and 32% of those who didn’t are either very or somewhat interested in doing so before year-end.

77% of millennials are also interested in learning more about crypto, with 75% saying they would use cryptocurrency if they understood it better.

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