Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
It says the MGX platform is the world's first conversion engine that allows consumers to convert unspent rewards points into gaming currency across nearly 4,000 gaming titles.
Mastercard says it works through a simple API integration on the loyalty platform, allowing fast and seamless redemption.
The company says with COVID-19 and its accompanying restrictions affecting once regular activities such as shopping, travel, and dining, people have increasingly turned to alternative avenues of entertainment such as gaming to satisfy their need for richer and more diverse experiences.
Simultaneously, Mastercard says consumers have been constrained by their inability to redeem their accumulated rewards points, triggering a sense of dissatisfaction amongst them while also posing a significant financial liability for loyalty program owners.
The company says MGX presents itself as an intuitive, innovative, and intelligent solution that addresses this gap in the ecosystem.
Targeting medium-to-high spending gaming audiences, the new conversion engine aims to give them an alternative rewards programme.
Mastercard Asia Pacific vice president of consumer marketing and sponsorships Kaveri Khullar says the gaming audience in Asia is incredibly diverse.
"The market is booming with possibility, and with the dynamics of the rewards redemption industry being irreversibly modified, there is no better time than now for brands and consumers to benefit from stepping into the gaming arena," he says.
"Through one simple, seamless solution that integrates flexibility and functionality, MGX creates a whole new category in rewards redemption programs, one that doesn't currently exist, and allows owners of reward programs to connect with the world's fastest-expanding entertainment market in ways that truly matter to them."
Mastercard says APAC is home to 54% of the world's gaming audience, reaching an estimated gaming community size of 1.8 billion by 2024.
The company says APAC is the first region to launch MGX, although the new service is international and supports gaming products and currencies in local languages across 75 countries worldwide.
Mastercard says this latest announcement demonstrates its broadening presence in the gaming industry after having diversified its sports and entertainment portfolio with gaming titles and ambassadors from 2018.
This follows Mastercard's recent partnership with TradeWindow in a bid to increase access to trade finance and simplify cross-border payments and research commissioned by Mastercard in December last year that found New Zealand consumers were starting to spend less money at home on items and more on experiences.
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry with connections across more than 210 countries and territories.