On Monday, Mastercard announced that the company has signed a deal with crypto firm Bakkt to make cryptocurrency options available to banks and merchants across its payments network.
Banks on Mastercard’s global payments network will be able to offer crypto rewards on debit and credit cards and reward points on purchases like hotels or airlines can be paid out in crypto. Consumers will be able to transform their cryptocurrency holdings to pay for buying and owning digital assets through custodial wallets on Bakkt’s platform.
Earlier this year, Mastercard said that it would begin enabling its cardholders to carry some transactions on particular cryptos on its network. It also said in July it was working with cryptocurrency and digital asset startups as part of its effort to make cryptos more widely utilized by consumers.
The deal with Bakkt, which started publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 18th, could primarily extend access to and adoption of cryptos; the firm said there are currently more than 2.8 billion active Mastercards and more than 22,000 financial institutions and banks on its network.