Visa, the world’s leading payment processing giant, has announced a new Pilot API program for its banking partners. That would allow customers to buy and sell digital assets such as Bitcoin.
Visa will partner with Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, for the pilot program. The news comes shortly after Anchorage became the first OCC-approved national cryptocurrency bank,
Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot, while others have been placed on a wait list. Previously, Visa had been focused on helping crypto companies issue bank cards. Partnering with 35 crypto firms to date, but this is the first time the company has offered crypto services to banks.
Visa CEO Al Kelly said during last week’s earnings call that stablecoins could be used for “global commerce”. Adding that “to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange. There’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network”.
Why VISA Has Entered The Crypto World
Visa crypto lead Cuy Sheffield explained why Visa is entering the crypto world. “This is shifting to the next phase of Visa’s strategy. Where we’re looking at how Visa can also be a bridge between the thousands of financial institutions … and help them tap into the growing world of crypto assets and blockchain networks,” he said.
“We’re excited to see what early tests and consumer engagement look like. For things like dollar-cost averaging to buy bitcoin or for things like earning bitcoin back as rewards.”
It is aiming to become the bridge between the emerging digital asset market and its established remittance empire with nearly 70 million users across the world.
“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants. Today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa,” chief product officer Jack Forestell said.
“With this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients. By providing an easy bridge to cryptocurrency assets and blockchain networks.”
The tone of the official press release suggests that it’s API pilot is going to be the first among many programs to tap into the 1 trillion dollar industry.