Visa Unveils Crypto Consulting Services to Promote Mainstream Adoption

Visa announced Wednesday it is unveiling an advisory practice to assist clients to explore the world of cryptos. The payments processor aims to support the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Visa and its competitor Mastercard see cryptocurrency as a major development opportunity as they advance beyond card payments.

Visa and mastercard positive about crypto

Visa is unveiling new consulting and advisory services to assist its clients to explore the world of cryptos.

The payments processor announced Wednesday its cryptocurrency advisory practice will provide advice to retailers, financial institutions, and other companies on many things from launching crypto features to navigating NFTs.

Visa announced American bank UMB as a client using its cryptocurrency advisory services.

The move marks the payment processor's latest venture to support the cryptocurrency industry. According to Nikola Plecas, Visa's European cryptocurrency lead, from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, Visa processed $3.5 billion in virtual currency transactions via its crypto-linked card programs. During an interview with CNBC Plecas said, "Some of these leading exchanges have millions or, in some instances, tens of millions of users," It added that the firm enables users to spend their cryptocurrency at more than 80 million merchants.

The firm is also creating products adopted to stablecoins — digital tokens linked to the value of sovereign currencies, mostly the dollar — and central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDCs).

Visa plans to use its crypto consultancy to support mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other digital assets. Like competitor Mastercard, the credit card titan sees cryptos as a major development opportunity as it ventures into services other than card payments.

Leading payment networks have faced intense competition from the flooding of new financial players in recent years. New trends including open banking, which intends to open up consumer bank information and payment effectiveness to competitor fintechs, threaten to change their business plan.

For now, Visa is under pressure from leading tech firms. Amazon last month announced it would halt accepting Visa credit cards for customers in the U.K. because of the firm's "high fees." The e-commerce giant has taken similar processes against Visa in countries like Australia and Singapore.

Plecas stated, "Crypto for us is a huge new vertical and growth opportunity. And we will be continuing to focus on growing this business moving forward."

Research released by Visa Wednesday indicated that 94% of the customers now have some level of awareness of cryptocurrencies, while about one-third have utilized it as a medium of exchange or investment. Over 6,000 individuals were surveyed around the world for the research, which was carried out in association with marketing services company LRW.

Future of cryptocurrency as a metaverse key

Any virtual reality platform needs the data integrity and unhackability of blockchain in order to be widely adopted. Although data leaks and hacks are common, the network on which users will be working in a completely online environment needs to be secure.

Blockchain not only allows for speedy information validation but also for secure and confidential cryptographic transactions. Blockchain technology and virtual currency will be used in a radically new way with virtual reality.

People and institutions can conduct transactions in a virtual, verifiable, and real-time manner using cryptographic transactions since they are a tried-and-true method for doing so. However, even without the ongoing use of blockchain and crypto-asset technologies, the trend favoring virtual and internet payments has been growing. The acceptance of crypto assets by Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal has made doing business and conducting transactions online a mainstream development that is now even more common.

Crypto-enabled payments increased in popularity in a virtual environment like the metaverse, thus it makes likely that they will continue to grow in popularity.

The metaverse is currently in its early stages of development but expanding swiftly. However, if the metaverse is to be sustained and realized in the future, blockchain technology and virtual currency will need to play a significant role in its implementation.

On some blockchain-based metaverse platforms, the development of AR and VR technologies is currently ongoing and will eventually allow users to interact with their surroundings.

According to PwC, a major accounting and consulting firm, virtual reality and augmented reality will increase the global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030, rising from $46.5 billion in 2019.

Google, operated by Alphabet Inc., Meta (formerly Facebook), and Microsoft Corp. have all invested heavily in cloud hosting and virtual reality businesses in order to be ready for the industry's future expansion.