Payments giant Mastercard is planning the launch of a cryptocurrency trading facility to allow banks and other financial institutions to support the buying and selling of digital assets.
Crypto Source, as the new service is called, will provide banks and other financial services providers with a “comprehensive suite” of digital asset trading tools for clients, Mastercard said in a statement.
The service, which is currently at the pilot stage, will be offered through an expanded partnership between Mastercard and Paxos, a blockchain infrastructure platform. According to the statement, Paxos will provide banks with trading and custody services, while Mastercard’s technology will integrate these services with banks’ existing systems.
The tools include security functions such as anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, and biometrics, and cryptocurrency spending support.
Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, described Crypto Source as “a connected approach to services that will help bring users safely and securely into the crypto ecosystem”.
The company has invested heavily in the crypto space, including the acquisitions of CipherTrace and Ekata, which Bhalla said had given Mastercard “a unique set of capabilities to help provide our customers and consumers with the most technically advanced solutions available in the market”.
Jorn Lambert, the company’s chief digital officer, added: “Our commitment is simple — to explore crypto and the underlying digital assets technology to support consumer choice in payments. Today is an exciting step in our crypto journey that draws on the strengths of our global businesses, from open banking and identity verification to analytics and fraud monitoring to settlement solutions.
“Our crypto product innovations will provide choice at scale and continue to bring one-of-a-kind opportunities to financial institutions as they seek to offer new, advanced services to their customers.”
According to recent research by Mastercard, 29% of respondents globally held some kind of cryptocurrency as an investment. Two thirds (65%) indicated they wanted their existing financial services providers to offer crypto services.