Visa, the popular global payment network company, said during an earnings call that its customers made $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 18,685 crore) in payments using its crypto-linked cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022 that ended on December 31. That volume, when put into perspective, already accounts for over 70 percent of all crypto-card volume throughout the fiscal year of 2021 that ended on September 30 2021, signalling increased adoption of digital asset payments over the past few months.
Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu expressed optimism over the development in an interview with CNBC. “To us, this signals that consumers see the utility in having a Visa card linked to an account at a crypto platform,” he said, citing an instant and seamless ability to manage purchases and fund payments.
In case you're wondering, crypto-linked cards allow customers to spend crypto anywhere that accepts Visa, without merchants having to be familiar with the asset class. Merchants continue to receive transactions in fiat like typical Visa transactions, while the payment processor handles conversions on the backend.
Within the first half of 2021, only $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,470 crore) had been spent in crypto using Visa's cards. While comparatively small now, that's still a fraction of the crypto spending volume it processed in 2019 — though CNBC reported in July that Visa did not release exact numbers for that time.
As per Visa CEO Al Kelly who spoke to analysts during the company's earnings call, more than 65 crypto platforms and exchanges, including Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi, have partnered to issue Visa credentials. More than 100 million vendors in the Visa network are now accepting Visa crypto payments.
“In addition to embedding credentials and crypto platforms, we continue to innovate around our settlement and crypto API capabilities, which have been key differentiators for us for fintech and financial institutions that are looking to extend crypto capabilities to their customers,” said Kelly.
Kelly said Visa continues to “lean into the crypto space” and improve areas such as connectivity, scale, consumer value propositions, reliability, and security for crypto offerings to continue growing. In December, the company launched crypto-consultation services for its clients to get financial institutions involved with the asset class.
The payments giant also recently partnered with artist Micah Johnson to educate artists on how non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can help monetise their art and advance their careers.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.