Fri, 23 Apr 2021

Visa credit cards to add cryptocurrencies to payment options

Robert Besser
02 Apr 2021, 02:09 GMT+10

SAN FRANCISCO, California: Visa Inc has announced it will start accepting cryptocurrency transactions on its payment platform, citing growing demand for virtual currency transactions.

"We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies, and we're seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers," according to Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, as quoted by Reuters.

Visa has tied up with crypto platform Crypto.com for a pilot project, which will allow the use of USD Coin, a stablecoin cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, for settling transactions.

Visa said it plans to extend the payment option to more partners later this year.

The payments giant also said it will use the Ethereum blockchain for settling transactions more conveniently.

Earlier, for payments on the Crypto.com Visa card, digital currency held in the cryptocurrency wallet had to first be converted into traditional currency and deposited into a bank account, from where it could be wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle transactions. This made the process complex and costly.

The use of the Ethereum blockchain will save customers the inconvenience of converting digital currency into currency, such as US dollars, to pay for transactions.

Visa said it recently settled its first cryptocurrency transaction using USD Coin, in partnership with digital asset bank Anchorage, as part of the pilot. The transaction was performed using Crypto.com.

Visa's move has come amid growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry, which has led to financial giants, such as BNY Mellon, BlackRock, and Mastercard, adopting cryptocurrencies for investments and payments.

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