Mastercard’s CFO on Crypto as Asset Class vs. Means of Payment
By Kevin Helms
Mastercard Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sachin Mehra shared his view on cryptocurrency in an interview published Tuesday by Bloomberg.
He was asked how successful Mastercard’s crypto strategy has been. “In the crypto world, we play the role as an on-ramp, with people using our debit and credit products to buy crypto. And we act as the off-ramp: When people want to cash it, we help them gain access to be able to use their crypto balances everywhere Mastercard is accepted,” he detailed, elaborating:
That’s a revenue-generating capability which has been fairly successful ever since crypto environments came up.
The company previously explained that it has plans to develop products and services in three key crypto-related areas: cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Mehra was further asked how much traction crypto assets can get as a true form of payment. “For anything to be a payment vehicle in our mind, it needs to have a store of value,” he replied. “If something fluctuates in value every day, such that your Starbucks coffee today costs you $3 and tomorrow it’s going to cost you $9 and the day after it’s going to cost you a dollar, that’s a problem from a consumer-mindset standpoint.”
The Mastercard chief financial officer added:
So we view crypto more as an asset class.
“But as a payment instrument, we think stablecoins and CBDCs potentially have a little bit more runway,” Mehra concluded.
In February, Mastercard expanded its payments-focused consulting service to include cryptocurrency. The service covers “a range of digital currency capabilities, from early-stage education, risk assessments, and bank-wide crypto and NFT strategy development to crypto cards and the design of crypto loyalty programs.”
The payments giant filed 15 trademark applications in April for a wide range of metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) services. In June, the company said it is bringing its payments network to web3 and NFTs.