Mastercard is diving deeper into the world of cryptocurrency, announcing today it’s adding payments-focused consulting services for crypto and digital currencies, and that it may eventually help develop central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
The financial services giant said it its new offerings for banks and merchants will cover everything from cryptocurrency and NFT strategy to crypto cards and loyalty programs.
As NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership of a digital or physical asset—become more popular, more mainstream financial institutions and businesses will have to similarly adapt.
The business world is facing an influx of #innovation. To help businesses evolve we have expanded our preeminent #payments-focused consulting service with new practices dedicated to Open Banking, Open Data, Crypto & Digital Currencies, and Environment, Social & Governance (ESG).
— Mastercard News (@MastercardNews) February 15, 2022
Mastercard said in a statement that the firm also is looking to help banks explore the possibility of developing and implementing CBDCs through its testing platform.
This isn’t the first time Mastercard has expressed an interest in digital currencies, having previously developed cryptocurrency cards with Wirex and BitPay. Last year, Mastercard said it was “preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments.”
More recently, Mastercard partnered with Amber, Bitkub and Coinjar to make crypto-focused payment cards for customers in Asia.
When it comes to NFTs, Mastercard will be a payment option on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace platform, which doesn’t have a release date but could prove a rival to OpenSea.