Mastercard Looking to Make Cryptocurrencies Everyday Way to Pay
Payments giant Mastercard believes crypto assets have the potential to transform the financial infrastructure, outlining five key areas that can help “turn cryptocurrencies into an everyday way to pay.”
However, to achieve this, we need to bring together the best of tech, banking, fintech, and crypto, Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products & Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, said in a Wednesday blog post.
Dhamodharan said, "someday soon" we would be able to spend cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as contactless card payments, but that would require developments in at least five key areas.
In the first place, there is the need for crypto cards, which would act as a bridge between existing financial services and the crypto market. Mastercard noted that they have announced dozens of crypto card programs, with the most notable one being the partnership with Gemini to launch a credit card that pays rewards in cryptocurrencies for US users.
Notably, Mastercard's rival Visa has also announced several crypto-linked credit cards so far this year. Just last week, the company partnered with FTX to offer crypto debit cards in 40 different countries with a focus on Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
Secondly, Mastercard noted that there should be various service providers for crypto companies. The company noted that they have expanded their consulting services to include crypto as well "to help card issuers stay compliant with regulations and assess the risk profile of crypto transactions."
The third key area is making it easy for users to convert their crypto to fiat to make payments. Companies can do this by partnering with some top-tier crypto-focused companies, like Paxos and Circle.
"An important way to expand choice for people is to bring certain Mastercard-approved digital assets onto our networks, a plan we announced last year that continues to move forward," said Dhamodharan, noting that the fourth important area is to bring some cryptos on their network.
Lastly, Dhamodharan mentioned the importance of NFTs and the Metaverse for improving user experience. He said the payment giant is working on partnerships to support NFTs and the metaverse.
In January, Mastercard partnered with Coinbase to make buying NFTs as simple as "buying a T-shirt or coffee pods on an e-commerce site." And now, the company is working to bring the same capabilities to another eight NFT marketplaces, Dhamodharan said.
"We’re excited to prioritize these core areas to give people more access to the crypto ecosystem and help it keep innovating and growing," he concluded.