Visa reaffirms interest in cryptocurrencies and crypto payments

Stablecoins in particular have aroused the interest of the large payment service provider.

Visa managing director Al Kelly confirmed at an official press conference for the first quarter of 2021 that the payment service provider will continue to rely on crypto payments.

At the same time, he revealed which strategy Visa wants to use with regard to cryptocurrencies

The payment service provider, which has total assets of more than 72 billion US dollars for 2019, has increasingly turned towards crypto payment services in recent months. On the one hand through cooperations for crypto debit cards and on the other hand through investments in fintech startups like the company Zap. However, this month the American antitrust office prevented Visa from buying up the startup Plaid.

Nonetheless, Visa has long-term plans when it comes to crypto payments. The company sees itself in the best position to establish itself in this sector. According to a transcript from the press conference, Kelly said, „We are convinced that we are in a unique position to make cryptocurrencies safer, more useful and more practical for payments.“

The Visa CEO divides cryptocurrencies into two main groups:

„On the one hand, cryptocurrencies, which represent a completely new asset class and act as a store of value, and on the other hand, stablecoins, which are linked to existing national currencies and are primarily used as a means of payment.“

For stores of value à la Bitcoin, Visa wants to act as an „access ramp“ through which investors can access the cryptocurrency from their local currencies:

„Our strategy for these cryptocurrencies is to work with wallet providers and crypto exchanges so that users can buy them via Visa or use them to pay at one of our 70 million retail partners.“

The strategy for stablecoins is much more proactive, because Visa sees this form of cryptocurrency as „an emerging innovation in the field of payment services that has the potential to be just as common in global trade as any other national currency“. In this context, public blockchains could possibly become points of contact for existing payment systems.