Mastercard's Crypto Plans Help Bakkt Shares Surge
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Mastercard's Crypto Plans Help Bakkt Shares Surge

4 weeks ago
2m

Newly public Bakkt saw its week-old stock’s price triple after news of an agreement to provide cryptocurrency-based loyalty program services to consumers.

Mastercard's Crypto Plans Help Bakkt Shares Surge

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Cryptocurrency services firm Bakkt saw its share price triple on Monday after announcing a partnership with Mastercard.
The Intercontinental Exchange-owned digital asset platform has announced that it will offer crypto services to Mastercard’s merchant and banking partners, allowing them to provide cryptocurrency services to customers. Bakkt said:

“These include the ability for consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets powered by the Bakkt platform and streamlined issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards. Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions.”

Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, said the company “is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day.” 

The loyalty program offerings will include both receiving their loyalty points in cryptocurrency, and spending them on it. Nancy Gordon, executive vice president of Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt, said:

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers. As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility.”

The partnership announcement comes just seven days after Bakkt went public on the Intercontinental Exchange-owned NYSE via a reverse merger via a SPAC. 

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Haymond pitched the partnership as an opportunity for Mastercard to differentiate its loyalty point offerings in an overloaded market: In the U.S. alone, consumers have more than 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships, according to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review.
In a survey of consumers in 18 markets worldwide, 40% of the consumers in all major regions except Europe told researchers from the 2021 Mastercard New Payments Index that “they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year.” 

Three-quarters of the millennials surveyed said they wanted to learn more about cryptocurrencies and would use crypto more if they understood it better.