Mastercard set to make access to crypto easier

Mastercard has 2.8 billion cards in use and works with 20,000+ financial institutions globally.  The payment platform has announced that it is to provide services to help the millions of  merchants on its network to be able to use crypto. Sherri Haymond, from Mastercard, has  recently said: “We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto  services to whatever it is they’re doing.

Source: Teamblockchain 

This announcement is significant as it will enable easy access for those who wish to use  cryptocurrencies, so removing an often-cited challenge that cryptocurrencies faced in the  past – “How do I spend my cryptos?” Furthermore, Visa has reported that its customers had  spent over $1billion using cryptocurrencies in the first half of 2021. So, clearly there is a  demand for people to use cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions, and presumably this  is the reason why Mastercard is looking to offer the ability for the banks and merchants  using Mastercard to be able to transact with cryptos. Mastercard is also helping to build the  infrastructure required by Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) if they are to be fully  embraced by retail users around the world. Mastercard’s CEO, Michael Miebach, has been  noted to report during the latest earnings update to shareholders that: “We are saying at  this point in time, the most likely chance for this kind of technology to work for payments is if  it’s issued through a government in the form of a CBDC. We said that on a couple of calls  before, and we said that we will make our network ready to do that as and when a  government is ready to put out a CBDC that will exist alongside the dollar or the euro as a  settlement currency in our network.” 

Given that Visa is an official partner for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, has  Mastercard therefore been motivated to be ready to accept China’s new CBDC and so be  the debit/credit card of choice for Chinese visitors, whereby undermining Visa’s sponsorship?