Mastercard debuted NFT-enabled debit cards that users can fully personalize. Cardholders who own NFT collections (supported by Mastercard) can add them to the card. Well-known collections such as Bored Ape, Goblintown, CryptoPunk, Moonbirds, and Azuki are supported in Mastercard.
While this is a neat new feature, only specific NFT avatars and art pieces approved by Mastercard will only be available. This verification allows the company to verify the owner and authenticity of the NFT.
The announcement came on September 26 with a partnership between Mastercard and the European cryptocurrency exchange platform, hi. The debit cards are available for premium Gold forum members who can customize their debit cards with an NFT they own.
Debit Cards and NFTs
To become a Gold member of hi, the person must stake 100,000 hi Dollars (HI). According to data from CoinGecko, that amount is worth roughly $4,600.
The cards can be used in any shop as long as Mastercard is accepted and can be used to spend fiat money, cryptocurrency or stablecoins. As perks, some membership levels also offer benefits like Netflix discounts, Spotify price slashes, cash back incentives, and hotel credits.
Christian Rau, Vice President of Crypto and Fintech Enablement at Mastercard, said that as interest in NFTs and crypto grows among buyers, the company is “committed to making them an accessible payment choice for the communities who wish to use them.”
Also, the cards are only available in 25 European Economic Area (EEA) countries and the UK.
NFT Still Going Hot Despite Lower Value
Most of the blue-chip collections lost value since the start of 2022 as crypto markets went down. However, NFTGo data shows that the performance of blue-chip NFTs has been slowly rising since September 12, which could bring new interested buyers into the market.
Mastercard’s support for crypto assets has helped bring them into the general audience and social media platforms. In June, the payment company partnered with several NFT marketplaces to make it possible for Mastercard holders to buy NFTs.
It seems as if large companies are also unfazed by the current state of the crypto market and the massive volume trading depression in NFT marketplaces. They see this period of fear as a significant opportunity to buy into the NFT industry and take advantage of it.
Brands including Nike, F1, Dolce & Gabbana, and UFC have been outspoken about their support and production of NFTs for a new breed of consumers. While the debate on non-fungible tokens as a fad or a valuable long-term asset is still ongoing, the interest in blockchain items is getting more attention from the mainstream crowd.
Other payment apps like PayPal and Maya already include Bitcoin wallets for faster transfers between crypto exchanges and digital fiat. Mastercard Europe announcing its support for NFT collections and allowing its users to customize their cards with the artworks they purchased provides a better opportunity for blockchain technology to expand to a larger market.
If the NFT inclusion for Mastercard Europe becomes successful, it will not be long until American, Asian and Oceanian branches follow.