Major credit card company Mastercard has announced that it is preparing to incorporate cryptocurrency into its loyalty program services for U.S. banks, merchants, and fintech companies around the world.
25 announcement, Mastercard has announced that it is partnering with digital asset platform Bakkt to enable its US-based customers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through a custody wallet.
The partnership will also allow cardholders to earn and spend rewards in crypto instead of using loyalty points, collecting tokens, or redeeming them for purchases.
“We will not only give our partners the opportunity to offer a dynamic mix of digital asset options,” said Sherri Haymond, Executive Vice President of Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.digital, but also a differentiated and relevant consumer experience.
According to data from the 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Survey study, U.S. consumers had 3.8 billion members in loyalty programs, although these numbers can vary. Mastercard also reported that there were 249 million of its cards in the United States at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Related: US investors tend to buy crypto with credit cards, new research shows
Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said in July that the company “[has] staying in this room ”is due in part to the growing interest in central bank digital currencies and cryptocurrencies. In February, the credit card company announced that around one billion of its users will be able to use the cryptocurrency with its more than 30 million supported merchants. However, Mastercard has yet to clarify which tokens are supported.
Bakkt, the digital asset management arm of the Intercontinental Exchange, recently listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BKKT and BKKT WS. The platform has also partnered with Google so customers can convert their crypto balances to make valid payments with Google Pay.