International payment processing giant Mastercard is expanding its payment network for nonfungible token (NFT) markets and Web3.
The financial service provider announced that it has been working on expanding their payment networks to NFTs over the past year. The firm has partnered with a number of leading NFT marketplaces to allow 2.9 billion cardholders to directly make NFT purchases without buying crypto first.
Currently, users need to buy crypto to bid on and buy NFTs. However, with the latest Mastercard partnership, billions of cardholders can now bypass the process of buying a transferring crypto to NFT marketplaces. The firm said:
“These integrations are designed to make crypto more accessible and help the NFT ecosystem keep growing, innovating and bringing in more fans.”
Mastercard stated that it has partnered with multiple NFT marketplaces namely Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox (SAND), Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway and Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay.
Related: Mastercard expands consulting with crypto-dedicated practices with 500 new hires
The NFT card-purchase service was first launched in January this year in a partnership with Coinbase, allowing users to usbuy NFTs directly by using credit cards.
The decision to expand its payment network to the rapidly growing NFT ecosystem was also based on the company’s latest survey of 35,000 respondents from 40 countries, which showed that 45% of the consumers have either bought an NFT or are considering doing so. Fifty percent of the surveyed consumers also showed interest in getting more flexible options to make purchases.
The firm claimed they are also working on offering world-class security to customers with its latest payment option, similar to “when making transactions in a store or online with a Mastercard card.”
The payment processing giant has shown keen interest in the crypto and NFT markets over the past couple of years. Earlier in April this year, Mastercard filed for 15 metaverse and NFT-related trademarks.
The top two mainstream payment processing companies, Visa and Mastercard, have come a long way from their early days of blocking crypto transactions on their network, and are currently competing to become leading financial services providers in the decentralized space. Visa launched an immersion program back in March to allow creators to build their business with NFTs