Credit and debit card giant Mastercard announced an upcoming integration with a number of NFT marketplaces, including Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, and Nifty Gateway, as well as Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay.
Mastercard holders will be able to pay in fiat, without the need to acquire crypto first, widening the participating platforms’ reach. A similar service for Coinbase’s NFT marketplace, which launched over a month ago, is already in the works.
For Mastercard, the new partnerships advance a broader strategy of digital asset integration. The company has already launched a host of crypto-related services, including consulting, transaction tracking tools, and a crypto-backed payment card developed in cooperation with crypto lender Nexo.
In 2021, the company also introduced a startup engagement program Start Path Crypto to help emerging scale promising crypto companies through the Mastercard ecosystem, including APIs, and card issuance programs. The program has since onboarded Avalanche’s Ava Labs, crypto rewards platform NiftyKey, and German NFT security firm bitsCrunch, among others.
Staying in the game
According to a report on digital payments Mastercard published a few days ago, 45% out of over 35,000 respondents have either already purchased an NFT or would consider doing so. While the survey the report is based on was carried out before crypto turned bearish, Mastercard doesn’t appear to be changing its plans.
“This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets, and help sellers build loyalty with existing customers who want this additional option,” head of digital assets and blockchain products Raj Dhamodharan said as Mastercard was announcing a more aggressive pro-crypto strategy in February 2021. He added that “Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies,” but that “it’s about choice.”