The payment processor says crypto is not just a technological upgrade or digital asset — but rather it’s a global cultural phenomenon that it wants to be closely associated with.
Early this month the top global payment processor, Visa, launched its cryptocurrency advisory service, targeting its merchant users and banking clients. The Visa offerings comprise a range of services such as crypto education for institutional clients, enabling merchants to accept crypto payments, backend support, and more.
The company has since said it’s committed to the crypto advisory service, despite double-digit drops in the most widely used crypto coins and tokens at retail. Since Visa’s launch, correlative not causal losses have hit Bitcoin (-10%), Ethereum (-20%), Litecoin (-30%), and Dogecoin (-22%).
Why Visa launched its crypto advisory services
According to the company’s announcement, the move into advisory services for e-money is driven by its research that 94% of financial decision makers at banks are aware of crypto, and 40% of crypto owners are willing to switch to a bank that has digital currency offerings.
Visa states that it’s targeting banking institutions that are keen to attract or retain consumers using crypto services, retailers interested in exploring non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and government central banks considering issuing their own digital currencies. Visa is rolling out the service now, which will enable its banking partners to buy, sell, and store digital currency where legal.
Visa wants to link crypto with banks, merchants, and consumers
Despite the recent decline across the industry, Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, told a New Delhi-based media outlet last week that they will continue to support the crypto ecosystem. Specifically, he said Visa will make it easier for consumers to buy or cash out crypto using Visa cards; add new infrastructure and crypto capabilities; conduct original research; and support the emerging NFT economy.
“We’ve partnered with more than 60 of the leading crypto platforms, like FTX, BlockFi, Crypto.com, Coinbase, and Binance, to launch card programs that make it easy for consumers to convert and spend digital currency at 80 million merchant locations worldwide,” Sheffield said in the interview. “At the end of the day, we want to serve as a bridge connecting the crypto ecosystem with our global network of 80 million merchant locations and more than 15,000 financial institutions.”
Ultimately, Sheffield acknowledged that Visa “needs” to be heavily involved in crypto because crypto is not merely a digital asset class or technological innovation. When you consider its links to gaming, NFTs, decentralized finance, tokenization, the metaverse, and more — crypto is nothing short of a growing cultural phenomenon.