MasterCard, an American multinational financial services corporation has announced a partnership with Bakkt, a digital asset platform, to enable merchants, banks and fintechs in the United States to embrace and offer “a broad set of cryptocurrency solutions and services.”
According to the announcement, MasterCard will be working with Bakkt to enable its U.S. customers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets. The partnership will also enable cardholders to earn and spend rewards in crypto rather than using loyalty points and accruing or redeeming tokens for purchases.
The announcement stated, “Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions, enabling its partners to offer cryptocurrency as rewards and create fungibility between loyalty points and other digital assets. 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. This is the latest move by Mastercard to bring innovative loyalty options to consumers that align with their passion points.”
Bakkt launched in 2018 and it is known to be a digital asset platform that enables consumers to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets. Bakkt’s consumer platform, available through the recently released Bakkt app and to partners through the Bakkt platform, amplifies consumer spending and bolsters loyalty programs, adding value for all key stakeholders within the Bakkt payments and digital assets ecosystem.
Bakkt recently listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols BKKT and BKKT WS. The platform has also partnered with Google to allow customers to convert their crypto balances to make fiat payments using Google Pay.
What they are saying
Sherri Haymond, Executive Vice President, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard stated, “Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day. 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.”
Nancy Gordon, EVP, Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt stated, “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers. 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.”
The move brings the world of cryptocurrencies a step closer to bridging the gap between them and the traditional credit card payment industry. The announcement explained, “Consumers continue to seek out crypto assets as an option for everyday purchases. In the Bakkt U.S. Consumer Crypto Survey of 2,000 U.S. Consumers, nearly half (48%) of respondents reported purchasing crypto in the first half of 2021, while 52% of those who didn’t are either very or somewhat interested in doing so before year-end. And, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 77% of millennials stated that they are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency, with 75% saying that they would use cryptocurrency if they understood it better.”
MasterCard currently trades $362.41, up over 1% for the day while Bakkt rallied over 155%, to currently trade $23.51, as of the time of this writing.