Mastercard plans to bolster its card program for digital currency wallets and exchanges by streamlining the way partners change digital currency into fiat currency. The firm and its partners will pilot this new functionality by working with Circle, Paxos Trust Company and Evolve Bank & Trust, according to a Tuesday (July 20) announcement.
Circle and Paxos will harness their systems to enable these conversions by the way of fiat-backed stablecoins, which is a kind of digital currency that provides “price stability and is backed by reserve assets.” The streamlining of this workflow will let additional banks and crypto partners equip consumers with the option of using digital currency to make payments, according to the announcement.
“Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier. Through our engagement with Evolve, Paxos, Circle and the larger digital assets community, Mastercard expects to deliver on our promise of consumer choice to provide options to people around the world on how and when to pay,” Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships at Mastercard, said in the announcement.
In addition, Mastercard is in talks with Metropolitan Commercial Bank and Evolve Bank & Trust to issue cards, BitPay and Uphold to offer live digital currency wallet tech, and i2c Inc., Galileo Financial Technologies and Apto Payments to help with processing and program management.
The news comes as digital currency has captured the public imagination in a big way in 2021 and all kinds of individuals have thoughts — and intentions — for how they would like to obtain and spend digital money.
“Nearly a quarter of current or former cryptocurrency owners have used cryptocurrency to purchase groceries and retail products as well as to make online gaming or gambling-related purchases, pay for streaming services or access financial services,” according to The Cryptocurrency Payments Report: How Consumers Want To Use It To Shop And Pay, a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration.