Mastercard is actively preparing its entry into the metaverse. After American Express, the American group has filed several trademark applications for virtual cards reserved for the digital universe. The card processor has also shown interest in non-fungible tokens (NFT) sold in the metaverse. Other companies are expected to follow suit soon.
Mastercard files 15 trademark applications related to the metaverse
Mastercard, the U.S. payments giant with 2.8 billion cards in service, has ambitions to enter the metaverse. As specialist attorney Michael Kondoudis reports on his Twitter account, the company has filed 15 trademark applications related to the metaverse, cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Dated April 7, 2022, the filings include mention of the “metaverse” several times. In particular, the documents mention “a virtual credit card, a virtual debit card, a virtual prepaid card and virtual payment card transactions in the metaverse.”
In concrete terms, Mastercard wants to allow Internet users to pay for purchases in the metaverse with digital payment cards. To manage these transactions, the American firm implies the creation of “an e-commerce software” dedicated to the digital universe.
The company also wants to organize events related to finance and cryptocurrencies within these digital worlds accessible in virtual or augmented reality. In addition, the group plans to create online communities.
The filings also mention non-fungible tokens (NFTs) several times. Mastercard describes, for example, blockchain-certified downloadable music files, online NFT stores or communities dedicated to digital assets.
This is not the first time Mastercard has shown interest in the cryptocurrency and NFT sector. Earlier this year, the company announced the expansion of its advisory service to cryptocurrencies as well as non-fungible tokens. A few months earlier, Mastercard partnered with Bakt to expand its crypto asset services to its partner network.
Metaverse-related trademark filings are on the rise
Unsurprisingly, the filings show that Mastercard wants to use distinctive brand elements, such as its name and logo, in the metaverse. This initiative is essentially aimed at protecting the Mastercard brand against the ideas of competitors.
Interviewed by our colleagues from ExpertClick, Michael Kondoudis assures that these filings show that Mastercard openly aims to make a place for itself in the metaverse and expects to “be a major player in this virtual economy”:
“Mastercard is a leading financial brand, and the value attached to the brand is significant. These filings are the next logical step to protect the Mastercard brand as it enters the metaverse. Clearly, Mastercard sees the potential of the metaverse and is preparing its trademarks and brand for the virtual economy that will dominate it.”
The attorney expects filings like this to increase in the next 12 months as companies realize the need to protect their brands in the metaverse. In February 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received 257 filings involving the metaverse, compared to 13 in February 2021.
Mirroring Mastercard, American Express has already filed several trademark applications to prepare for its entry into the metaverse. The world’s second largest payment processor has ambitions to provide banking services and open ATMs in the digital worlds of tomorrow, among other things.