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Mastercard enables merchants to offer cryptocurrency products, services on network

*The payments giant says it desires to offer all of Mastercard partners the ability to more easily add cryptocurrency services to whatever it is they are doing

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of what the payments giant has described as “a multifaceted partnership”, Mastercard has collaborated with a cryptocurrency exchange to allow its partners and merchants in the United States (US) to offer crypto solutions, including the buying, selling, and holding of cryptocurrencies.

ConsumerConnect gathered the company announced that “we want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing.”

It noted that the partnership aims “to make it easier for merchants, banks, and FinTechs in the US to embrace and offer a broad set of cryptocurrency solutions and services.

“Bakkt extends Mastercard’s ecosystem of cryptocurrency partners enabling crypto-as-a-service, which provides quick access to cryptocurrency capabilities.”

Both Bakkt and Matercard further explained that the latter partners will be able to offer cryptocurrency solutions, agency report said.

These include the ability for consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets powered by the Bakkt platform and streamlined issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards.

The global payments giant has relationships with more than 20,000 financial institutions worldwide, and there are 2.8 billion Mastercards in use, according to the company.

An October 2019 Nilson Report states that Visa and Mastercard both had 52.9 million merchants — more than any other company worldwide.

It also disclosed that crypto would be integrated into its loyalty solutions, allowing its partners to “offer cryptocurrency as rewards and create fungibility between loyalty points and other digital assets.”

The announcement added: “This means that consumers can earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency instead of traditional loyalty points and seamlessly convert their crypto holdings to pay for purchases.”

Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s Executive Vice-President of Digital Partnerships, was quoted as saying: “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 Bakkt platform.”

Similarly, Gavin Michael, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bakkt, stated: “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 it to work.”

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