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Mastercard To Integrate Cryptocurrencies Into Its Loyalty Program Offerings For US-Based Banks

Mastercard, the major credit card company, has announced that it will integrate cryptocurrencies into its loyalty program offerings for United States-based banks, merchants, and fintech firms on its payment network.

It has been reported that Mastercard said it would be working with digital asset platform Bakkt to allow its customers based in the United States to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets. The partnership will also enable cardholders to earn and spend rewards in crypto rather than using loyalty points and accruing or redeeming tokens for purchases.

Sherri Haymond, the Executive Vice President for Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, said:

“We’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options, but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”

However, according to data from Colloquy Loyalty Census research conducted in 2017, US consumers held 3.8 billion memberships in loyalty programs, though these numbers have likely changed following the evolving financial landscape amid the pandemic.

The report said that Mastercard also reported there were 249 million of its cards in the United States as of the end of Q1 2021. Millions of loyalty rewards program users who may have never had any knowledge or use of cryptocurrencies could soon have some exposure.

In July, Michael Miebach, the CEO of Mastercard, said that the company “[has] to be in this space,” in part, due to the growing interest around central bank digital currencies and crypto. In February, the credit card firm announced its roughly one billion users would be able to use crypto at its more than 30 million supported merchants.

Mastercard has not yet clarified which tokens would be supported. The digital assets management arm of the Intercontinental Exchange, Bakkt recently listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols BKKT and BKKT WS.

Thus, the platform has also partnered with Google to allow customers to convert their crypto balances to make fiat payments using Google Pay.

Source: Cointelegraph



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