As wonderful as the metaverse is, its purchasing utilities are a headache. If you’ve tried describing or directing crypto wallets to anyone for the first time, you’d understand. Through two recent partnerships, credit and debit card giant Mastercard hopes to address these issues — and set itself up as the default payment processor of the virtual world.

The partnerships are with Xsolla, a video game commerce company, and Immersve, a web3 payment platform. Working with Xsolla will allow Mastercard customers to use their reward points for in-game purchases, as well as to send in-game currency to friends and family. Immersive, on the other hand, will allow consumers to spend cryptocurrency directly from their web3 wallets wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Both partnerships are set to position Mastercard with great advantages for virtual commerce opportunities and encourage its potential, near future role as the electronic payment provider for the metaverse.

At Wishu, we often talk about the need for legitimisation in web3’s potential for momentum and bringing Mastercard on board is a great step forward. “I think that’s the next wave that’s coming into the metaverse,” said Xsolla CMO Berkley Egenes. “How do you transact? How do you make purchases? We have brought Mastercard on board to go do this.”

Virtual commerce is one of the most promising aspects of the metaverse for brands and creators. But at the moment, the infrastructure for it is relatively underdeveloped. For one, virtual items and currency are rarely interoperable, or transferable between different platforms.

In fact, Mastercard EVP of fintech solutions Blake Rosenthal listed three specific pain points in the current state of in-game purchases that motivated her company to partner with Xsolla: the difficulty of gifting in-game currency to friends and family, the lack of parental controls over in-game spending and the risk of fraud or cyberattacks.

Mastercard’s recent virtual payment partnerships represent a step in the right direction, but it will take time for the credit card company to truly ingrain itself into the fabric of the metaverse. For now, neither Xsolla nor Immersve serve the largest metaverse platforms, Fortnite and Roblox. To pave the way for an open metaverse, companies like Xsolla and Immersve will have to convince these platforms and many others to use the infrastructure they are currently building.

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