Mastercard to Allow Businesses to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments

By Luigi Wewege Thursday, February 11, 2021

Close-up of a Mastercard credit card.

Mastercard, a major company in the global payment industry, announced plans to provide business support for certain cryptocurrencies on its platform later this year after its rivals made similar moves over recent months.

Cryptocurrency Adoption Increases

The announcement for Mastercard comes just a few days after electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla said it had bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin (BTC) and that it would soon start accepting cryptocurrency payments. The digital payment platform Wirex became the first cryptocurrency platform to win a Mastercard principal membership, which allows it to directly issue payment cards.

“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy,” said Raj Dhamodharan, executive VP at Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships, at the company.

“Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay.”

Other corporate giants, including BlackRock, Square, Paypal, and others, have also announced similar support for accepting cryptocurrency as payment. The credit card company already offers business cards that allow its customers to make cryptocurrency transactions, though not through its network.

"Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets," the payments business said in the statement.

The company emphasized that it will not provide support for all cryptocurrencies on its network, saying that many of these digital assets still have to improve their compliance measures.

A number of cryptocurrencies still haven’t seen mass adoption among mainstream investors because of their speculative nature and potential for frauds such as money laundering. The payments business said it has noticed a surge in demand for cryptocurrencies among its customers, adding that many of them have been purchasing these assets using their business cards amid the ongoing bull market.

"We are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money," the company added.

Paypal has also accelerated the cryptocurrency payment adoption last week to now offer cryptocurrency payments for its 26 million merchants after its limited digital asset trading services “exceeded expectations.”

Summary

Payments provider Mastercard said on Wednesday that it plans to offer support for some digital currencies on its platform this year, joining a number of other corporate giants that announced similar plans.

About the Author


Headshot for author Luigi Wewege

Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking at Caye International Bank. Outside of the bank, he serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School which provides online training courses on the latest technological and innovation developments within the financial services industry. Luigi is also the published author of: The Digital Banking Revolution.

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