Payments giant Mastercard announced its plans to overhaul its crypto card initiative to enable more crypto firms and conventional banks to offer its physical cards for further digital asset transactions. As per the official statement of the prominent American payments firm, Mastercard, alongside its partners, are now trying to test brand new features to enable just that as it strives to take Mastercard to a wider set of audience.
To supply its users with further crypto exposure, Mastercard publicly announced its new partnerships with several crypto-focused entities, including Paxos, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Apto Payments, Uphold, BitPay, Circle, and Galileo Financial Technologies. The new partnerships with the aforementioned crypto businesses reportedly aim to streamline the conversion of cryptos to traditional fiat currency by tapping into stablecoins.
In the pilot the firm announced earlier today, Circle’s USDC will be its appointed bridge that connects the users’ cryptos with the fiat currency actually paid to the various merchants involved with the project. While adding a stablecoin in the very middle of the conversion process may initially appear as an extra step, swapping crypto for stablecoin to be exchanged for its cash equivalent can prove much faster than directly converting crypto to cash.
This decision by Mastercard to dive deeper into the incorporation of its traditional payments framework with the crypto industry mirrors the latest developments made by its arguably closest competition Visa, which is now on the verge of offering crypto-based debit cards.