Visa launches crypto consulting services in push for mainstream adoption

Visa has launched new advisory and consulting services to assist its clients in the cryptocurrency world.

Wednesday’s announcement by the payments processor stated that its crypto advisory service, which is housed in its consulting and analysis division, will provide advice to retailers, financial institutions, and other firms on everything, from the rollout of crypto features to exploring un-fungible tokens.

Visa has named UMB, an American bank, as a client who’s using its crypto advisory services.

This is Visa’s latest attempt at entering the cryptocurrency industry. According to Nikola Plecas (European crypto lead), the company processed $3.5 Billion in digital currency transactions between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021 through its crypto-linked cards schemes.

Plecas stated that some of the top exchanges have millions, or even tens of million of users. Plecas also said that the company allows users spend crypto at more than 80 million merchants.

The company is also working on products that target stablecoins, virtual tokens tied with the value of sovereign currency, usually the USD and central bank-issued digital money.

Visa hopes that its crypto consulting can further mainstream adoption Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The credit card giant, like its rival Mastercard sees cryptocurrency as a major growth opportunity as it expands into other areas than card payments.

In recent years, major payment networks have been subject to increased competition from a slew of financial startups. Open banking, which seeks to make consumer information available to fintechs and offer payment options to them, is a new trend that threatens their business model.

Large tech companies are also putting pressure on Visa. Amazon announced last month that it would cease accepting Visa credit cards in U.K. because of the company’s “high fees”. Similar steps were taken by the e-commerce giant against Visa in Australia, Singapore and elsewhere.

“Crypto is a new vertical and growth opportunity for us. Plecas stated that they will continue to work on expanding the business.

Visa released Wednesday a study that found 94% of people are aware of crypto and nearly one-third have used it to invest or exchange money. The research was done in partnership with LRW, a marketing services firm. It surveyed more than 6,000 people worldwide.