Mastercard and Bakkt Partner to Offer Crypto Loyalty Programs

Mastercard and Bakkt announced a partnership to make it easier for merchants, banks and fintechs in the U.S. to offer cryptocurrency loyalty programs.

Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions, enabling its partners to offer cryptocurrency as rewards and create fungibility between loyalty points and other digital assets. This means that consumers can earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency instead of traditional loyalty points and seamlessly convert their crypto holdings to pay for purchases.

Visa Announces Layer 2 Blockchain for Stablecoins and CBDCs

Visa has announced a Layer 2 project for cryptocurrency that aims to be a universal exchange hub for stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

The idea is to create a digital currency equivalent of the existing international payment experience—one that lets you pay for something in another country with a debit or credit card that draws funds from an account in your home country.

Also: “Visa, for instance, says the proposed base layer for its universal payments channel is Ethereum.”

Visa Will Accept USD Coin Cryptocurrency to Settle Transactions

USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin tied to the U.S. dollar, meaning that one USDC is equal to one dollar. Visa announced that it will accept these coins to settle transactions on its network in partnership with

Traditionally, if a customer chooses to use a Visa card to pay for a coffee, the digital currency needs to be converted into traditional money. The wallet will deposit fiat currency in a bank account, to be wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle any transactions, adding cost and complexity for businesses. Visa’s latest step strips out the need to convert digital coin into traditional money in order for the transaction to be settled.

Create an Email Filter for Your Bank So You Won't Miss Important Messages

David Murphy has a good tip: Create an email filter for your bank so you don’t miss important messages like fraud alerts.

Get specific when you set your filters, because you don’t want to accidentally drag in phishing emails that are attempting to pose as your bank. This shouldn’t be a problem if your email service is good about eradicating spam but, when in doubt, I’d probably try to set a combined filter for emails from your bank’s exact domain that contain the word “fraud,” rather than just a filter that catches subject lines with “your bank’s name” and “fraud.”

Goldman Sachs Spent $1.3B on Consumer Transformation

New York-based bank Goldman Sachs isn’t usually associated with average consumers. But it has spent US$1.3 billion to transform itself with initiatives like Apple Card (via CNBC). Goldman Transformation So far in 2019 Goldman Sachs has spent US$275 million on its new businesses like Apple Card and its consumer bank Marcus. In an earnings call…

Apple and Goldman are the FinTech Power Couple

Wall Street was surprised when Apple chose to partner with Goldman Sachs. According to a new article by WSJ, other financial institutions like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase offered their services to Apple as well.

Goldman can’t do it on its own either. It is new to consumer banking, having spent most of its 150-year history catering to big companies and billionaires. Without branches, it needs other ways to find customers for its online savings and lending business. Apple, too, needs new engines of growth as iPhone sales slow.