Visa announced it will allow the use of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin to settle transactions on its payment network. The company is launching a pilot program with a payment and crypto platform Crypto.com, with plans for more partners later this year.
According to the announcement, Visa spent the last year enabling the capacity for digital currency settlement within its existing infrastructure. Anchorage, the United States’ first federally chartered digital asset bank, will facilitate the pilot program. The trio completed the first transaction earlier this month, with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage.
Crypto Visa Cards
These efforts are a part of the ongoing partnership between Visa and Crypto.com. Users of the crypto platform may receive a Visa card for staking a certain amount of their native token (CRO). After receiving the card, users can make typical payments and top-up their balance by buying more CRO.
Until now, purchases made with the Visa card had to convert CRO into fiat money. The user’s wallet deposited traditional fiat currency in a bank account, which was then wired to Visa at the end of the day to settle the transaction. For companies dealing primarily with cryptocurrencies, this can be an added cost and complication.
According to Visa’s announcement, the ability to settle payments in USDC helps “crypto native companies evaluate fundamentally new business models without the need for traditional fiat in their treasury and settlement workflows.” The upgrades to enable this capability, as well as Visa’s integration with Anchorage, put the payment company in a prime position to directly support emerging central bank digital currency (CBDCs).
Continued Crypto Integration
This news is just the latest in Visa’s foray into facilitating payments in cryptocurrency. In addition to Crypto.com, it also issued payment cards in partnership with crypto exchange Binance.
“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.” – Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa.
Late last year, Visa announced it had integrated USDC into its payments system. Earlier this year, Visa CEO Al Kelly suggested the company would begin to add cryptocurrencies to its payments network.
*Originally posted at CVJ.CH