Today Bakkt announced a broad partnership with Mastercard, which involves the card company adding Crypto-as-a-Service, the ability to offer cryptocurrency services to its bank and fintech partners powered by Bakkt. Additionally, through Bakkt’s loyalty solutions, Mastercard clients can offer cryptocurrencies as rewards and rewards points can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies.
Bakkt is the digital assets startup that was spun off by NYSE owner ICE. In January, it was announced that Bakkt would list through a merger of the Victory Park Capital SPAC, with the final listing happening last week. The stock price dropped to $8 on Thursday but is above $15 this morning.
This is a relatively big step for Mastercard, which had adopted a more conservative stance towards digital assets until now. In February, we compared the different approaches of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Mastercard has provided cryptocurrency cards to clients of cryptocurrency exchanges for some time, and this new deal extends that beyond exchanges.
But outside of that, earlier this year, its position was to stick to stablecoins and CBDC. That contrasted with Visa, which partnered with Anchorage for cryptocurrency solutions.
“Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation, we’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options, but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences,” said Sherri Haymond EVP Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.
However, its own research uncovered significant interest in cryptocurrencies. Its survey found that 77% of millennials wanted to know more about the topic.
“As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility,” said Nancy Gordon, EVP, Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt.