Bakkt Unveils Crypto Asset Payments app for Retail Investors
Top financial institutions are widening their cryptocurrency services, with Bakkt rollint out its digital asset payments app for the retail investors. Bakkt was set up by Intercontinental Exchange in 2018, with the company offering Bitcoin futures contracts to proven investors on an exclusive basis.
The Bakkt App is the foremost retail facing crypto venture of the firm. Bakkt’s app was tested by 500,000 users who were invited to take part in the Early Access Program conducted in late 2020. The institution is also carrying out a $1 million reward program to inspire people to download the app.
Unveiled on March 30, the payments all permits users to administer Bitcoin and other cryptos, including vouchers and loyalty points, to carry out purchases. Over 75 top brands are providing discounted gift cards to buyers who utilize the Bakkt app, including GolfNow, Choice Hotels and Best Buy.
Users will also be able to administer their Starbucks Card balance via the platform. Karl Hebert Starbucks’ VP of global card, payment and commerce, stated:
“Starbucks is proud to be an innovation partner with Bakkt. Our teams worked closely together as Bakkt sought input in developing a unique and trusted payment experience that enables customers to unlock the value of their digital assets in the form of US dollars.”
He further said “We’re thrilled to bring the Bakkt App to the public as a step along our journey to expand digital asset access to all.”
In the media release, Bakkt has pointed out that the application is aimed to pave way for “consumers and merchants to unlock the value of $1.2 trillion in digital assets” by rewarding their utilization in commerce.
“The Bakkt App is designed to amplify consumer spending, reduce payment costs, and bolster merchant loyalty programs.”
The payments system seems to have initially perceived as collaboration between Bakkt and Stabucks two years back, with Bakkt choosing to roll out the platform as a distinct app in the following year.
The app’s roll out has come at a time when battle between financial institutions is intensifying in the cryptocurrency asset domain, with PayPal launching cryptocurrency payments for 29 million vendors and Visa revealing plans for supporting stablecoin USDC throughout its credit card network a few days before.
Goldman Sachs also intends to widen its crypto services, with a leaked document disclosing the establishment of a Digital Assets Group within its private wealth management unit. The team will have the job of providing advice to customers on cryptos and developing cryptocurrency based investment vehicles.