On the second day of Money 2020, Mastercard announced a joint partnership with Bakkt, a crypto-as-a-service company.
As a result, banks, fintechs, merchants, and Mastercard customers will be able to access crypto credit and debit cards, rewards programs, and payments.
The crypto firm enables users to buy and sell crypto, earn credit rewards on their accounts, and send money peer-to-peer: it will open up the Mastercard network to the cryptocurrency world.
“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value, and impact every day,” Sherri Haymond, EVP of Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.
“Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation, we’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”
Thousands of banks and millions of merchants will soon integrate crypto, and nearly one billion cardholders worldwide may quickly see crypto payment capability from one of the largest card providers.
The three-year-old, Georgia-based firm shot up more than 200% in value, almost reaching unicorn status. Shares traded under the ticker BKKT rose from an open of $13 up to $52 after market close. BKKT went public on the NYSE on Oct 18, seven days before the release. Mastercard grew by a little more than .6%.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers,” Nancy Gordon, EVP, Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt. “As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility.”
Using Bakkt tech, Mastercard customers will be able to make purchases in cryptocurrencies, exchanged on the spot into whatever currencies merchants accept. In addition, the press release explained that cardholders would also be able to use points on cryptocurrency options, like buying bitcoin.
On the news, Bitcoin and other coins climbed; BTC was up 4% from the weekend. Mastercard bought crypto intelligence firm CypherTrace on Oct 19. CypherTrace enables fraud solutions and digital asset security. Speculators guessed that Mastercard would use CyptherTrace tech to onboard banking data.
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