Mastercard to Allow All Banks and Merchants to Offer Crypto Services

Potential offerings include wallets, crypto rewards cards, and more

After announcing earlier this year that it would begin facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, Mastercard is preparing to announce that any bank or merchant on its network will soon be able to provide crypto services to its customers. The move, which Mastercard will make in a partnership with crypto firm Bakkt, should significantly expand how Americans use digital assets.

Key Takeaways

  • Mastercard is helping lead the charge in moving cryptocurrency toward mainstream adoption.
  • Banks and merchants on the Mastercard network will soon be able to integrate digital assets into their product offerings to consumers.
  • Bakkt, a relatively new crypto firm, will provide custodial services for financial institutions and merchants that participate in the program.

Mastercard and Bakkt Bringing Crypto to the Masses

Cryptocurrency has already begun to integrate itself into traditional financial products. Consumers can leverage their digital assets to borrow money, earn crypto rewards on a debit or credit card, and make purchases using cryptocurrency online and in person.

But with Mastercard's new partnership with Bakkt, expect digital currencies to become even more common in everyday life.

Through the partnership, any bank, fintech company, or merchant on Mastercard's network will be able to provide bitcoin wallets, crypto rewards debit and credit cards, and even allow loyalty program members to convert their points or miles into Bitcoin.

Mastercard is one of the largest payment processing companies in the world, with more than 2.8 billion cards in use globally.

The news comes not long after the price of Bitcoin reached an all-time high of nearly $67,000, and the Securities and Exchange Commission authorized a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Allowing consumers who may have been hesitant to use cryptocurrency the chance to earn it in lieu of points, miles, or cash back reduces their perceived risk because they're not buying it with their own money.

It also allows Mastercard to join the movement of a new currency and payment system that could eventually pose a major threat to the conventional system.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Mastercard. "Q1 2021 Earning Release." Accessed Oct. 26, 2021.

  2. CoinDesk. "SEC Approved Bitcoin Futures ETF, Opening Crypto to Wider Investor Base." Accessed Oct. 26, 2021.