It seems as if cryptocurrencies are starting to capture the attention of mainstream financial services providers. This week, Visa has shown to be no exception. The payments giant recently revealed plans to use cryptocurrencies into its traditional payments network.
In a blog post announcement, Visa said it has been working with Coinbase and Fold to “provide a bridge between digital currencies and [its] existing global network of 61 million merchants.” As a result of this collaboration, more than 25 digital currency wallets across the globe have linked up with Visa to enable consumers to spend their digital currency using a Visa debit or prepaid card.
“We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places,” Visa said in a statement. “As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money. We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow.”
Visa is using its crypto partnerships to position itself as the preferred network for digital currency wallets. Not only this, but the company also launched a FastTrack Program that helps fintechs integrate quickly with Visa’s network. One initiative that has resulted from the program is Visa Direct, which helps consumers convert digital currency and push the funds to their Visa credentials in real-time.
This week’s announcement builds on Visa’s long-term plans for leveraging the blockchain and alternative currencies. The company has a dedicated team that has been researching uses for the blockchain for years. Currently, the team is working on facilitating offline digital currency transactions.