Global payment giant Mastercard has announced significant upgrades to its crypto acceptance protocols, removing long-standing bottlenecks for cryptocurrency to fiat conversion. The company is the latest in the legacy payment arena to increase its focus on virtual currencies as demand for digital currency settlement options continues to increase.
Mastercard Announces Card Payment Offering for Crypto Businesses
According to a press release issued on Tuesday (July 20, 2021), Mastercard has partnered with USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin issuer Circle, Evolve Bank & Trust as well as Paxos Trust Company to enable businesses to offer crypto cards. Other participants in the collaboration include cryptocurrency payment gateway BitPay, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Apto Payments, Uphold, i2c Inc., and Galileo Financial Technologies.
As part of the collaboration, the partners will work towards reducing the friction associated with crypto payment cards. According to the release, the project aims to simplify the process of converting virtual currencies to fiat.
Mastercard along with its retinue of crypto, banking, and fintech partners will test this new capability to determine its suitability for banks and cryptocurrency businesses to offer crypto payment options across merchants that accept Mastercard. By partnering with Evolve, Paxos, and Circle, Mastercard is reportedly looking to leverage stablecoin functionality for its card programs.
Indeed, the planned enhancements will see Circle and Paxos utilize their stablecoin platforms to enable seamless crypto to fiat conversions. Commenting on the importance of the deal, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital assets and blockchain products & partnerships remarked:
“Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier. Through our engagement with Evolve, Paxos, Circle and the larger digital assets community, Mastercard expects to deliver on our promise of consumer choice to provide options to people around the world on how and when to pay.”
Legacy Payment firms Vying for Share of Growing Virtual Currency Market
As previously reported by BTCManager, Mastercard first announced plans to support crypto on its network back in February. At the time, the company said that it was giving users more payment options to purchase goods and services. Mastercard doubling down on cryptocurrency mirrors similar efforts by rival payment processing companies.
Earlier in July, Visa’s crypto credit and debit card facilitated more than $1 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. The company is also looking to expand its cryptocurrency ecosystem. Meanwhile, PayPal recently announced that it was increasing the crypto purchasing limit to $100,000 weekly, adding that there was no actual purchase limit. Back in March, the payment processor launched a crypto checkout service for US customers.