Card company Visa is increasingly doubling down on its crypto efforts to tap into the growing market. On Wednesday, the digital payments company launched crypto consulting services – Global Crypto Advisory Practice for its clients and partners such as financial institutions including banks. The offering is to help businesses “evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations like crypto rewards programs and central bank digital currency (CBDC)-integrated consumer wallets,” Visa said.
The company in March this year had announced the adoption of cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payment network. In July, it had announced partnering with 50 cryptocurrency platforms to launch card programmes that make converting and spending digital currency easy at 70 million merchants globally. Visa had recorded over $1 billion spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first half of 2021.
The US-based UMB Bank was already using Visa’s crypto consulting service. Visa also released results of its research involving over 6,000 financial decision-makers across Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the UK and the US, noting that awareness of crypto among those surveyed was near-universal at 94 per cent around the world.
“We’ve seen a material shift in our clients’ mindset in the last year, from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto, to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Carl Rutstein, Global Head, Visa Consulting & Analytics in the statement. Terry Angelos, SVP, and global head of fintech, Visa added, “As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy.”
Moreover, nearly 40 per cent of crypto owners said they would be likely to switch primary banks to one that offers crypto products while 81 per cent crypto owners expressed interest in crypto-linked cards that allowed them to convert and spend crypto at retailers where they shop in the same way they can use a debit or credit card. Also, 84 per cent were interested in crypto rewards that allowed them to earn crypto as a reward for their card spending. In August this year, Visa had also entered into the fast-growing space of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The company had paid $150,000 in Ethereum for a CryptoPunk NFT – one of the many digital avatars based on NFT.
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