Mastercard partners digital asset platform Bakkt to offer ‘Crypto-as-a-Service’
Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with crypto start-up Bakkt to enable its merchant, bank, and fintech customers in the US to offer cryptocurrency solutions and services.
Announced at Money20/20, the partnership also expands Mastercard’s rewards scheme to include crypto and will allow for the issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards.
Mastercard says the “multifaceted partnership” will enable “Crypto-as-a-Service” and make it easier for its customers to integrate and offer cryptocurrency solutions, with consumers afforded expanded access to digital assets.
Leveraging its own network and Bakkt’s digital asset platform, Mastercard says consumers will be able to buy, sell, and hold digital assets through e-wallets and cards and earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency.
Bakkt loyalty and rewards EVP Nancy Gordon says: “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 partnership with Bakkt follows Mastercard’s acquisition of blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace in September, as part of its broader cryptocurrency strategy.
In March last year, Bakkt secured a $300 million Series B with backing from big names such as Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12 and Netherlands-headquartered fintech PayU.