Financial services giant Mastercard has announced that it will begin supporting a select number of cryptocurrencies on its payment network later this year.
In a recent blog post, the company stated that it is ‘preparing… for the future of crypto and payments’ as it becomes the latest major corporation to embrace the use of cryptocurrencies.
This innovation, which will facilitate direct payments of certain cryptocurrencies through the Mastercard network, will allow more customers and sellers to accept digital coins as the inefficiency of having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional currencies is removed, the company added.
“Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice,” wrote Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard EVP blockchain products and partnership.s “Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value… however they want.”
The company plans to accept cryptocurrencies based on certain selection criteria, including how well they protect consumer privacy, their compliance protocols, and their suitability as forms of spending instead of investments. Each currency must also follow local laws and regulations in whatever region they are used.
Mastercard made significant steps towards improving consumer access to cryptocurrencies last year through its partnership with BitPay. The company’s crypto-debit card allowed for the conversion of cryptocurrencies into traditional currencies wherever regular credit cards are accepted.
“With 89 blockchain patents granted globally with an additional 285 blockchain applications pending worldwide, we already have one of the payments industry’s biggest blockchain patent portfolios to draw from to make these projects successful,” added Dhamodharan, in reference to Mastercard’s ongoing support of blockchain technologies.
Dhamodharan sees this as the ‘next step forward’ in bringing further choice to consumers.