Mastercard Announces Crypto Partners for NFT Payment Services Initiative

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Mastercard Announces Crypto Partners for NFT Payment Services Initiative
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Mastercard is putting more work into floating a seamless NFT payments services and has recruited a few crypto partners to help.

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) recently announced new crypto partners for an upcoming non-fungible token (NFT) payment service. According to Mastercard executive vice president Raj Dhamodharan, the payment solutions provider is collaborating with Immutable X, Candy Digital, and The Sandbox. In addition, Mastercard’s NFT payment initiative would also be receiving a helping hand from other crypto partners like Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway, and MoonPay. Dhamodharan explained the move by saying:

“We’re working with these companies to allow people to use their Mastercard cards for NFTs purchases, whether that’s on one of these companies’ marketplaces or using their crypto services. With 2.9 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, this change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem.”

Mastercard Crypto-inspired NFT Initiative to Improve the Industry Standard for Digital Asset Purchases

Mastercard’s NFT payments service also seeks to improve the current process of purchasing digital assets from a marketplace like OpenSea. This typically involves loading a crypto wallet with funds before paying in tokens such as Ethereum (ETH) or Solana (SOL). In a recent blog post announcement, Mastercard said it believes the process of buying NFTs should be safer and easier. The multinational financial services corporation also said:

“Buy the NFTs you want on the marketplace of your choice. No need to buy crypto first.”

Allowing cardholders to directly buy NFTs represents another giant stride taken in Web3-related services by Mastercard. Furthermore, integrating its bank cards with these digital assets also facilitates the growth of the NFT ecosystem, thereby increasing its visibility.

Dhamodharan provided some stats in the blog post. According to him, a recent Mastercard survey revealed that 45% of respondents had already purchased an NFT or would consider doing so. Furthermore, the survey also found that approximately 50% of these respondents favored increased flexibility in payment methods.

The survey involved over 35,000 respondents across 40 countries.

Mastercard-Coinbase Partnership

Mastercard is already in collaboration with American crypto exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) to support cash payments on Coinbase’s NFT marketplace. The company launched the NFT marketplace beta platform in early May to all prospective users. Initially, Coinbase’s NFT marketplace was only available to a select group of users from an October 2021 waitlist of 1.5 million users. This period lasted two weeks before the user launch and restricted access to a handful of users. Meanwhile, everyone else could only view the service but not use it.

Other crypto exchanges that have launched their own NFT marketplaces include Binance, Okcoin, and FTX.

Visa Also Eyeing Custom NFT Marketplace

Following Mastercard’s NFT foray, another giant payment solution provider Visa (NYSE: V), is also eyeing the NFT marketplace. In August last year, Visa bought a CryptoPunk NFT 7610, representing the company’s first steps into NFT commerce.

The digital asset cost Visa around $150,000 and is part of a larger line of 3,840 female punks. Considered to be the original NFTs and created by Larva Labs, CryptoPunks launched in 2017. Speaking on the NFT acquisition, Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, explained:

“We felt that CryptoPunks would be a great addition to our collection of artifacts that can chart and celebrate the past, present, and future of commerce.”

More crypto-related news can be found here.

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