Mastercard announced on the 25th of October 2021 that it has reached an agreement with cryptocurrency developer Bakkt to make crypto choices available to businesses and banks on its payments network. CNBC was the first to break the story.
When using the MasterCard Global Payment Network, financial institutions, such as banks, will be able to offer cryptocurrency rewards on credit and debit cards, for example, and reward points on airline or hotel purchases will be reimbursed in bitcoin. The Bakkt platform will let customers use their crypto holdings to make purchases and store digital assets in custody accounts.
Cardholders will be able to perform some cryptocurrency transactions on the Mastercard network starting in the first quarter of this year. In July, Mastercard stated it was working with crypto and digital asset businesses in order to make cryptocurrencies more widely utilized by consumers.
There are already over 2.8 billion active Mastercards and over 22,000 banks and financial institutions on Bakkt’s network, according to the business, which began publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 18th. According to Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships: “Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation we will not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital asset options but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”