Crypto purchases boosting Mastercard customer spending

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Mastercard Inc. doesn’t traffic in cryptocurrencies, but it’s benefiting from them just the same.

The payment network’s cross-border volumes -- a measure of customer spending abroad -- have risen 22 percent so far this year, fueled partly by clients using their cards to buy digital currencies, Chief Financial Officer Martina Hund-Mejean said Thursday. Higher spending on travel in Europe also contributed, she said.

“Just to be clear, we do not switch or settle cryptocurrency transactions over our network,” Hund-Mejean said on a call with analysts. “Our plans do not presume this type of activity will continue as we have no line of sight as to how cardholders will view cryptocurrencies in the future.”

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