VISA Emphasizes Support for Crypto Payment Innovations Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 31 January 2021 VISA, the top payment processor and credit card manufacturer, already made significant moves in the crypto industry with partnerships with several industry firms. However, the firm might be getting ready to make more direct crypto integrations into its platform. Focusing on Crypto for Payments Last week,VISA held its investors’ earnings call. At the event, company chairman and chief executive Al Kelly reaffirmed its commitment to crypto payments and on-ramps. In part, Kelly pointed out that VISA has several significant crypto plans in the future, and they believe they’re in the best position to pursue these objectives. The call’s transcript shows Kelly being bullish about VISA’s standing in the industry. In part, he pointed out that the company is hoping to make digital assets safer, more usable, and more applicable for payments. Shedding light on VISA’s views of cryptocurrencies, Kelly pointed out that the company groups these assets into two segments. The first are cryptocurrencies that represent stores of value (like Bitcoin). The second are stablecoins, whose values are tied to those of underlying assets. For the cryptos, the credit card manufacturer believes that it can better serve as a fiat on-ramp. “Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,” Kelly explained. However, when it comes to stablecoins, VISA believes that cryptocurrencies can be beneficial for optimizing global commerce and cross-border payments. Thanks to its partnerships with several wallet providers and payment solutions, VISA thinks that it would be able to capitalize on any cryptocurrencies that emerge as dominant forces in payments. A Strong Base of Partners VISA has been active in the crypto payments space for years, forming partnerships and providing financial backing to several companies looking to revolutionize traditional settlements. Last month, it partnered with Fiat-to-crypto on-ramp service provider Simplex to allow the latter’s client firms to issue crypto debit cards. This month, Zap, a Lightning Network payments startup backed by the payment processor, also announced that it had launched Strike Global – a remittances and payments app. Per a blog post from company CEO Jack Mallers, Strike Global works like traditional FinTech apps, but it works via the Lightning Network. Utilizing the technology, the payment processor can settle payments instantly and at a fraction of the costs that traditional payment rails charge. If it does choose to move into crypto, VISA will be the latest payment-focused company to take the plunge. Jack Dorsey’s Square has been involved in crypto for over two years now, and PayPal announced support for crypto trading and transfers last year. With more traditional payment firms entering into crypto, the future of the industry looks bright.