NFT transactions took another step into the mainstream as payments giant Mastercard (MA) said Thursday that its cardholders can now buy NFTs on various marketplaces without needing to first purchase cryptocurrency.

Mastercard is working with NFT scaling platform Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway and Web 3 infrastructure provider MoonPay for the new capabilities.

“With 2.9 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, this change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem,” according to Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s EVP of digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships.

Mastercard recently surveyed a group of of over 35,000 people in 40 countries and found that 45% had purchased an NFT or would consider buying one, the company said. In addition, Mastercard found that about half of those surveyed sought more flexibility and wanted to be be able to pay with crypto for everyday purchases, or use a credit or debit card to buy an NFT.

The payments firm also said it would focus on customer safety and protecting user data throughout the process of purchasing an NFT.

In January, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) said it was teaming up with Mastercard to make NFT purchases more accessible to a broader range of consumers.


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