Recently, global credit card giants Visa and Matercard were making news in the crypto sphere by announcing their latest initiatives with crypto. Earlier in February Mastercard revealed their plans on crypto and in response to that Visa recently revealed their initiatives.
Mastercard is planning to provide merchants the option to receive payments in cryptocurrency later this year. While their rival, Visa plans to enable purchase of Bitcoin (BTC) with Visa credentials and they have entered into a global partnership with Crypto.com.
Mastercard allowing payments with crypto
As Coindesk reports, the functionality of this initiative will see Mastercard customers’ digital currency payments settled in crypto at participating merchants. The company has not yet disclosed which digital currencies it intends to support, or where.
The new initiative promises to upend that dynamic among the store owners and businesses who opt in. They will be able to conduct their business beyond the bounds of the fiat ecosystem, as long as their customers own crypto’s and are willing to spend them.
In a blog post published after this story, Mastercard Executive Vice President for Blockchain and Digital Asset Products Raj Dhamodharan hinted stablecoins will be the primary beneficiary of Mastercard’s coming integration.
Where he explicitly stated that, “Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice. Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value.”
Visa’s enabling Bitcoin to be translated to fiat currency
Visa Inc has announced plans to enable cryptocurrency buying and spending on its global network. The payments giant said this week it would support the purchase of Bitcoin on Visa credentials and would work with Bitcoin digital wallets to allow it to be translated into fiat currency and used at locations where Visa is accepted.
The CEO of Visa, Al Kelly, also said that the financial services company is planning to enable the buying of Bitcoin on Visa credentials. The latest statement of Kelly came after Mastercard revealed its cryptocurrency plans in mid February.
This initiative would mean that Bitcoin could be accepted at the 70 million merchant companies worldwide which support Visa’s payment cards. Visa is currently working with Circle Internet Financial – the team behind the Ethereum-based stablecoin USDC – to give Visa’s global merchant network access to the dollar-pegged currency.
During a conversation at ‘Fortune’s Leadership Next’ podcast, Kelly said that, “I would like to divide crypto into two buckets – one is the more speculative asset or digital gold where we are focusing on enabling the purchase of Bitcoin on Visa credentials, and working towards the fiat currency.”
Visa’s global partnership with Crypto.com
Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com announced a global partnership with Visa that also includes principal membership in Visa’s network in Australia. The company also plans to roll out fiat lending against bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as collateral via the Crypto.com Visa Card.
With Visa principal membership, Crypto.com will begin direct issuance of the Crypto.com Visa Card in Australia and scale the program to new markets. The company is in the process of shipping cards in Japan, Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Its ultimate objective is to make the services available everywhere outside of China, a Forbes report said. The card program offers up to 8% cashback on purchases with no upper limits, a full rebate on Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, and no annual or monthly fees.
The payments space is rushing to support blockchain-based currencies at a pace not seen since Bitcoin pioneered the concept of stateless, peer-to-peer immutable transactions in 2009. These initiatives by the payment giants implies that this is just the start and there will be many more to come.