Cryptocurrency Is A “Huge Growth Opportunity,” says Visa As It Launches New Crypto Consulting & Advisory Service

This service is for banks because “every bank should have a crypto strategy,” and a Visa survey found that almost 40% of crypto owners would likely switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products.

Digital payments giant Visa is launching new cryptocurrency consulting and advisory services for its clients.

“Every bank should have a crypto strategy, and Visa can help,” tweeted Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto.

The payment processor’s crypto advisory practice is housed within its consulting and analytics division. It will offer its services to retailers, financial institutions, central banks, and other firms regarding crypto features and exploring NFTs.

Visa said Wednesday that American bank UMB is already using its crypto advisory services.

“We’ve seen a material shift in our clients’ mindset in the last year, from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Claudio Di Nella, Head of Visa Consulting and Analytics.

With its crypto consultancy service, Visa hopes to help with the mainstream adoption of digital assets.

This is the latest move from Visa to venture deeper into crypto. This week, Visa participated in the $60 million Series B funding round of blockchain investigation firm TRM Labs, joining Tiger Global, American Express’ Amex Ventures, Citi Ventures, Block (formerly Square after Jack Dorsey resigns as Twitter CEO), DRW Venture Capital, PayPal Ventures, Marshall Wace, and Jump Capital.

Visa allows users to spend their crypto at more than 80 million merchants in its network. The credit card giant processed $3.5 billion in digital currency transactions between October 2020 and September 2021 through its crypto-linked card schemes.

“Some of these leading exchanges have millions or, in some instances, tens of millions of users,” Nikola Plecas, Visa’s European crypto lead, told CNBC.

Much like its rival Mastercard, the company sees crypto as a key growth opportunity as it expands beyond just card payments.

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

Visa also released a study on Wednesday that unveiled that 94% of people now have some level of awareness about crypto. Out of over 6,000 people globally surveyed, nearly one-third have used it as an investment or medium of exchange.

Engagement is particularly higher in emerging markets at 37% compared to 29% in developed markets that use or own crypto.

Nearly 40% of crypto owners surveyed said they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.

“Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership,” said Antony Cahill, Deputy CEO, Visa, Europe. “As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy.”

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