Visa is doubling down on it investments into crypto by launching new consulting and advisory service to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies.
It announced its crypto advisory practice, housed within its consulting and analytics division, will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers and other firms on everything from rolling out crypto features to exploring non-fungible tokens.
Visa named American bank UMB as a client that’s already using its crypto advisory services.
The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to push deeper into the crypto industry. From October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, the company processed $3.5 billion in digital currency transactions through its crypto-linked card schemes, according to Nikola Plecas, Visa’s European crypto lead.
“Some of these leading exchanges have millions or, in some instances, tens of millions of users,” comments Plecas, adding that the company allows users to spend their crypto at over 80 million merchants.
The company is also developing products geared toward stablecoins — virtual tokens tied to the value of sovereign currencies, typically the dollar — and central bank digital currencies.
Visa hopes its crypto consultancy can help further mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Like rival Mastercard, the credit card giant sees cryptocurrencies as a key growth opportunity as it expands into areas beyond card payments.
Major payment networks have faced increased competition from an influx of new financial upstarts in recent years. Emerging trends such as Open Banking, which aims to open up consumer bank information and payment capabilities to rival FinTechs, threaten to disrupt their business model.
“Crypto for us is a huge new vertical and growth opportunity. And we will be continuing to focus on growing this business moving forward,” Plecas said.
A study released by Visa said 94% of people now have some level of awareness of crypto, while nearly one third have used it as an investment or medium of exchange.
The post Visa deepens relationship with crypto and launches advisory service appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.