Visa says it is working to integrate digital currencies with its existing global network of 61 million merchants.
The global payments technology giant is working with two licensed and regulated digital currency platforms, Coinbase and Fold.
In a blog post, Visa says the emergence of fiat-backed digital currencies or stablecoins promises a new payment innovation that combines the benefits of digital currencies with the “stability” of existing currencies like the US dollar.
Explaining the company’s focus on delivering value to people, businesses and economies regardless of currency channel, Visa says:
We’re reshaping how money moves across the globe, and that means pursuing a broad array of technologies and partnerships. In that regard, digital currencies offer an exciting avenue for us to continue doing what we do best: expanding our network-of-networks to support new forms of commerce.
The company asserts that the concept of stablecoins has “gained traction beyond fintechs” and now “includes financial institutions and central banks.” Consumers and businesses are also adopting digital currencies while reports suggest that stablecoin circulation is growing rapidly.
Latest estimates put total supply at $12 billion.
In the meantime, the payment company also reveals that already “more than 25 digital currency wallets have linked their services to Visa,” giving users an easy way to spend from their digital currency balance using a Visa debit or prepaid credential — anywhere Visa is accepted.
These digital currency wallets are looking to “use the full range of Visa’s capabilities,” including Visa Direct, an option that makes it “faster and easier for consumers to convert digital currency and push those funds to their Visa credentials in real-time.”
Visa explains that much of this work is happening through Visa’s FastTrack program, which helps fintechs to integrate quickly with Visa’s global network.
Through these efforts, Visa has become the preferred network for digital currency wallets, which are eager to deepen their value to users by making it quicker and easier to spend digital currency worldwide.
While noting ongoing regulators’ concerns regarding digital currencies, Visa says it believes “the best way to address these concerns is by working closely with leading companies and the public sector.”
The payments giant points to its experience and success which it says are down to continuous investment on “building and maintaining a resilient global network.”
Integrating with emerging innovations like privately issued digital currencies ensures this legacy is maintained Visa adds.
In 2019, Visa invested Anchorage, a company building security infrastructure for the digital currency ecosystem while a research team explored the science of blockchain technology for several years.
The research team has since had several promising innovations, including Zether and Flyclient and now their research is focused on new mechanisms to improve scalability and enable offline digital currency transactions.
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