Visa, the global payment services giant, has introduced an international cryptocurrency consultancy unit to help banks and retailers make the most of the sector’s growth.
The company’s service will be geared towards helping financial institutions attract and retain customers with a crypto offering, but it also hopes to attract retailers interested in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and central banks exploring digital currencies.
To justify its news service, Visa stated that the case for crypto was ‘getting stronger’ and a global study conducted by the company showed that almost 40% of crypto owners were ‘likely or very likely’ to switch their main bank accounts in 2022 to a bank that also offered crypto-related products. Visa already uses its systems to allow buying, selling and the custody of digital currencies. It also provides a credit card with bitcoin rewards and allows the use of the stablecoin USD Coin to settle transactions.
However, for Visa’s Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu, the company may not yet adopt Bitcoin for payments given its volatility, as it believes that makes it harder for merchants to accept payment in something that can ‘fluctuate from US$ 60,000 to US$ 50,000 in a few hours’. However, he added that Visa will facilitate transactions in such currencies when the time is right.
"Banks are beginning to face a critical moment, just like the media and telecoms faced as the internet expanded: they must either embrace cryptos to remain relevant in a Blockchain-focused financial world or risk becoming irrelevant in the future. Visa seems to understand that and it can also see there is money to be made in advising its customers on how to engage with digital assets in a positive way."
Stated the founder and CEO of Dynasty Global Investments AG, Eduardo Carvalho.