Bakkt eWallet Streamlines Digital Assets In One Location


Digital asset marketplace startup Bakkt is launching its eWallet app to streamline all kinds of electronic holdings, from cryptocurrencies to branded loyalty points, the company said in a Tuesday (March 30) press release.

The digital wallet app gives people the ability to filter all digital assets the company has partnered with — including Starbucks, GolfNow, Best Buy — through the single Bakkt platform. People can then use their digital assets however and whenever it suits them. 

By way of example, the Bakkt App enables the conversion of participating brand loyalty rewards into cash or enables bitcoin as a payment method. Bakkt estimates that more than $1.2 trillion in digital assets is held in crypto, points and gift cards.

“The average consumer holds a wealth of digital assets — from gift cards to loyalty points to bitcoin — but lacks the tools to adequately track and utilize their value,” said Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael.

Michael added that the public release of the Bakkt App brings the company further along in its mission to “expand digital asset access to all.”

The Bakkt App was developed to boost consumer spending while lowering costs and advancing merchant loyalty programs, according to the press release. During its Early Access Program, which was extended to companies by invitation, Bakkt said it had more than 500,000 users sign up. It now counts brands like Starbucks, GolfNow, Best Buy, Choice Hotels and Fiserv among its brand base. 

People can now use the Bakkt App to convert supported assets and points into dollars that can then be used to load spending credits onto their Starbucks Card saved in the Starbucks app. 

Bakkt announced in January that it plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings.

Bakkt’s collaboration with Starbucks began in October 2019, when the company first started working on digital apps for consumer digital assets. Starbucks worked with Bakkt to create an integrated platform. In August 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services extended a charter under New York Banking Law to Bakkt Trust to operate as a limited liability trust company.

Even with the reopening of physical retail locations, many consumers have embraced digital shopping and payments, a trend expected to continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. More people than ever before are also using peer-to-peer (P2P) apps and mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.

PYMNTS data shows that people are often using digital channels for shopping, banking and more. But account-to-account (A2A) transfers are largely responsible for the uptick in the use of debit cards.