Payment processing giant Mastercard is looking to dive deeper into the cryptocurrency industry. In line with this, the company plans to expand its consulting services with new practices focused on open banking, open data, crypto, and digital currencies, as well as Environment, Social & Governance (ESG).
Navigating the Adoption of Digital Currencies
According to the official press release, Mastercard stated that it aims to help financial institutions navigate the adoption of cryptocurrencies with its consulting efforts by enabling banks and merchants to cover many digital currency capabilities.
This will include early-stage education, risk assessments, bank-wide crypto and NFT strategy development to digital asset cards, and the design of crypto loyalty programs. Data & Services, which happens to be a talent incubator for the broader company, is looking to add more than 500 college graduates and young professionals as part of the ambitious growth plans.
So far, Mastercard has curated partnerships with crypto-focused firms and has helped the expansion of financial tech companies into new markets. One of the main focuses of the payment company is to help central banks use its testing platform for design exploration as well as deployment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The platform could enable central banks to analyze various frameworks before deployment and leverage Mastercard’s expertise around payment systems, policy and regulation, and governance.
Bringing Crypto In Its Network
Mastercard has taken several steps towards integrating blockchain and cryptocurrency into its business structure. In 2021, the company announced that it will start supporting select digital assets directly on its network.
Without clarifying its stance on cryptocurrency, Mastercard stated that it was about the “choice” of customers, merchants, and businesses “to move digital value, traditional or crypto, however, they want.”
Later that year, it announced support for credit and debit cards backed by cryptocurrencies in the APAC region, thereby enabling users to use their such assets in the same way as standard fiat money when paying for goods and services.
More recently, Mastercard partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to simplify non-fungible tokens (NFT) purchases. The company also joined forces with the leading Ethereum Software company, ConsenSys, to launch roll-ups for EVM blockchains.
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