In a recent CoinDesk-viewed Web3 strategy workshop report, global payments giant Mastercard expressed its interest in collaborating with leading blockchain wallet providers MetaMask and Ledger. The move signifies Mastercard's strategic push into the rapidly evolving world of Web3 technologies, as it seeks to leverage the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the realm of payments.
Mastercard's presentation deck outlined the potential benefits of integrating payment cards with wallet providers. According to the company, such integration can help boost active user numbers, foster customer loyalty, and generate additional revenue streams. This approach also enables cardholders to seamlessly spend their cryptocurrency holdings, reducing friction in the transaction process.
Also, Mastercard is actively looking into new ways to issue cards around the world, such as using stablecoins for on-chain settlements and looking into options for fast and cheap blockchain networks.
The email from Mastercard emphasized the company's commitment to providing a trusted and transparent framework for handling digital assets. The introduction of initiatives like the Mastercard Multi-Token Network, Crypto Credential, CBDC Partner Program, and new card programs that bridge Web2 and Web3 technologies is aimed at achieving this goal.
Despite market uncertainties and regulatory challenges in the U.S. crypto space, major credit card networks, including Mastercard, are forging ahead with their crypto initiatives. Earlier this year, Mastercard announced the launch of its Engage program, which is set to introduce new cryptocurrency card schemes.
In a parallel development, rival network Visa is also making significant strides in the crypto space. Visa is actively collaborating with stablecoin USDC and the Solana blockchain to facilitate cross-border payments, as well as working towards simplifying Ethereum gas fees.
Mastercard's presentation deck also outlined plans to establish franchise guidelines for partner firms. These guidelines are intended to protect consumers, maintain healthy price competition, and monitor transactions. The company's acquisition of blockchain analytics specialist CipherTrace in 2021 further demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a secure and compliant crypto ecosystem.
Looking ahead, Mastercard has indicated that it will proceed with the issuance of cards targeting the European Union (EU) or the United Kingdom (U.K.) once the proposed standards have been validated. This move underscores the company's dedication to adhering to regulatory requirements and delivering innovative solutions tailored to specific regions.
As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, these strategic moves position Mastercard at the forefront of this transformative industry.