On June 9th, Mastercard announced partnerships with seven of the world’s leading NFT and metaverse platforms. The payment processing giant hopes these new integrations will provide customers with a simple and safe way to start collecting digital assets.
The seven Web3 companies Mastercard revealed in its press release include:
- Immutable X
- Candy Digital
- The Sandbox
- Nifty Gateway
From now on, customers who visit any of these platforms could use a Mastercard credit or debit card to make a purchase. Mastercard’s Executive VP of Blockchain Products Raj Dhamodharan says customers won’t have to worry about crypto conversions when using this new service.
Mastercard also mentioned it would continue its partnership with the Coinbase NFT market. Raj Dhamodharan also announced Mastercard’s agreement with Coinbase earlier this year.
Later in his press release, Dhamodharan said that Mastercard researchers found that more customers want increased “flexibility” when buying NFTs. According to Mastercard survey data, about 50 percent of respondents in 40 nations wanted more payment options for crypto assets.
With roughly 2.9 billion cardholders, Mastercard says its new features will help increase this “flexibility” in the crypto market. The company also suggested these changes will have a “big impact” on the global NFT market.
Card Competition in Web3 Heats Up
Mastercard has recently made many moves to position itself as the leader in Web3 payment processing. For instance, Rarity Sniper recently discovered Mastercard filed 15 trademark applications related to NFTs and the metaverse. Mastercard has also been heavily investing in many metaverse-related startups.
Plus, in February, Mastercard revealed it’s offering “crypto consulting services” in its Data & Services department. It appears this new division will help clients develop actionable strategies to take advantage of blockchain innovations like NFTs.
Mastercard is also partnering with many crypto companies to offer crypto rewards cards. For instance, the NY-based exchange Gemini recently revealed its Mastercard credit card, and the crypto lending platform Nexo has a Mastercard debit card.
Although Mastercard has been aggressively expanding its Web3 offerings, that doesn’t mean it has zero competition. Arguably, Visa has been even more accepting of cryptocurrency in the past few years.
Ironically, Coinbase chose Visa for its official crypto-backed debit card. Fans of Crypto.com should know Visa is responsible for the Singapore-based exchange’s metal debit cards. Visa also partnered with the lending site BlockFi on the world’s first crypto rewards credit card.
Besides working with big-name crypto companies, Visa now has an NFT-focused division that’s interested in collaborating with digital artists. Visa also made headlines when it bought CryptoPunk #7610 for $150,000.
Besides Mastercard and Visa, American Express seems interested in developing its presence in the metaverse. More recently, the bank & card issuer Capital One filed Web3 patents with the USPTO.
As crypto and Web3 gain wider adoption, it may reshape how card companies think about payment processing.