Visa Launches Crypto Advisory Service for Financial Institutions and Merchants | Investment News

(Reuters) – Visa Inc, the world’s largest payment processor, on Wednesday launched a global crypto advisory service for its banking customers and merchants as the adoption of digital currencies gains momentum.

The move is aimed at financial institutions looking to attract or retain customers with crypto offerings, retailers looking to delve into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or central banks exploring digital currencies, the company said. .

Visa’s services include educating institutions about cryptocurrencies, enabling customers to use the payment processor’s network for digital offerings, and helping manage backend operations.

A new global study from Visa has shown that nearly 40% of crypto owners surveyed said they would be likely or very likely to change their primary bank to a bank offering crypto-related products within the next 12 months.

Visa is expected to launch services this year that will enable the purchase, sale and custody of digital currency through its banking partners.

There are also a number of Visa card programs that allow users to earn bitcoin on purchases and the network will also allow its customer to use USD Coin, a stablecoin whose value is directly tied to the US dollar. , to settle transactions on its payment network. .

However, for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to be used as a medium of exchange, price stability is needed, Visa chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu told Reuters.

“If the price is going to fluctuate from $60,000 to $50,000 within hours, it’s very difficult for a trader to accept (bitcoin) as currency,” Prabhu said.

“I don’t know if cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will ever be a medium of exchange. Stablecoins will be,” he said, adding that Visa would facilitate such transactions when the time comes.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

Marianne R. Winn