“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value, and impact every day,” Mastercard EVP of Digital Payments Sherri Haymond. “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.”
The collaboration will enable Mastercard partners to leverage the company’s network and Bakkt’s trusted digital asset platform to enable consumers to buy, sell, and hold digital assets using custodial wallets powered by Bakkt’s platform. Additionally, consumers will benefit from streamlined issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards.
Mastercard will also make cryptocurrencies a bigger part of its loyalty programs. Mastercard partners will be able to offer cryptocurrency as rewards and enable consumers to transfer value between loyalty points and digital assets. This will allow users to effectively use cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions and, perhaps even more significantly, marry cryptocurrencies to their preferred purchases.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers,” Bakkt EVP for Loyalty, Rewards, & Payments Nancy Gordon said. “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.”
In addition to its partnership with Mastercard, Bakkt also announced that it had entered a strategic relationship with Fiserv that will also help support mainstream adoption and use of cryptocurrencies. A major feature of the collaboration will be the integration of Bakkt into Fiserv’s Carat omnichannel ecosystem. This will enable businesses to offer both B2B and B2C cryptocurrency payouts, loyalty programs, and transactions. Fiserv and Bakkt also announced plans to introduce Bakkt technology that enables customers to store and transact with digital assets to Fiserv’s financial institution clients.
Founded in 2018 and based in Alpharetta, Georgia, Bakkt became a publicly traded company only a few days ago, launching on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BKKT. The listing came courtesy of a SPAC sponsored by Chicago investment firm Victory Park Capital. In the weeks leading up to the company’s debut as a public company, Bakkt had announced partnerships with other Finovate alums including Finastra, Google, and, earlier this year, Blackhawk Network.