Mastercard, the world’s largest credit card business, has announced plans to integrate cryptocurrencies into its loyalty program offers for banks, retailers, and fintech firms on its payment network in the United States.
Mastercard said on Oct. 25 that it will collaborate with digital asset platform Bakkt. In order to enable its US clients to purchase, trade, and keep digital assets using custodial wallets. Additionally, instead of utilising loyalty points, earning tokens, or redeeming them for purchases, cardholders will be able to earn and spend incentives in cryptocurrency.
“We’ll not only enable our partners to provide a diverse range of digital asset possibilities, but also distinctive and relevant customer experiences”, said Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s senior vice president of digital partnerships.
Increased interest in central bank digital currencies and crypto
According to statistics from the Colloquy Loyalty Census research done in 2017, U.S. customers have 3.8 billion loyalty program memberships. However, these figures are likely to have altered as the financial environment has evolved in the wake of the epidemic. As of the end of Q1 2021, Mastercard has 249 million cards in circulation in the United States. Millions of loyalty rewards program members who may have never heard of cryptocurrency or used them might soon be exposed.
The interest increased in central bank digital currencies and crypto. Therefore, Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach stated in July that the business “needs to be in this market”. The company stated in February that its over one billion members will be able to use crypto at its over 30 million enabled retailers. However, Mastercard has yet to specify which tokens would be acceptable.
On the Other hand, Bakkt recently launched its shares on the NYSE under the ticker codes BKKT and BKKT WS. Hence, customers may now use Google Pay to transfer their cryptocurrency holdings into fiat currency.