The companies said the partnership will make it easier for banks, financial-technology firms and merchants to offer and accept crypto payments. Banks and other financial institutions that issue cards through Mastercard will be able to issue cryptocurrency debit or credit cards that let people make payments and earn rewards in bitcoin. Other cryptocurrency assets could follow.
Major card networks and crypto fintech firms have announced other partnerships recently. In most of those deals, Visa or Mastercard serves as a network for a niche crypto card offered by the same fintech that houses the cardholders’ crypto assets. Bakkt, for example, currently offers its own Visa debit card.