Everything in a Bear Market, and Crypto was declared dead again. But not for the credit card provider Visa. He is committed to the mission of becoming the bridge that connects traditional companies to the future of money – and is upgrading his cards in Latin America to do so.
Sometimes a completely different perspective is just a click away on Visa’s Spanish-language website.
As the cryptocurrency markets exude a mix of panic and frustration over price action, the credit card issuer is spreading pure optimism.
“As interest in and adoption of digital currencies continues to grow globally,” the press release opens, “now announces that it is substantially expanding its crypto offerings in Latin America and the Caribbean. New local card-based partnerships and other initiatives are creating opportunities for businesses, governments and consumers to access the future of digital money.”
According to Romina Seltzer, senior vice president of products and innovation for Latin America and the Caribbean, Visa has recognized that the region continues to welcome crypto innovation: She sees more investments, more consumption adoption and more use cases. And Visa, as one of the largest global payment providers, doesn’t want to be left out.
“At Visa, we are committed to providing the connectivity, scale, security, and value proposition needed for crypto adoption to grow and be widely adopted,” said Seltzer. The credit card provider is currently focused on making Visa the “easiest and most secure way” to buy or use cryptocurrencies with the card.
To this end, Visa will upgrade the credit cards issued in Latin America and the Caribbean so that they fit better into the crypto market. The program currently being rolled out in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and other markets includes the following:
First, the credit card provider works with various crypto startups, such as Lemon Cash and Satoshi Tango in Argentina, and Crypto.com, Alterbank and Zro Bank in Brazil. Presumably, Visa helps these startups accept money through card payments or issue their own debit cards.
Second, Visa wants to introduce “credenciales vinculadas a criptomonedas”. This presumably means identity data associated with crypto wallets. They should enable customers to unlock crypto options: they can buy cryptocurrencies, pay with cryptocurrencies where local currencies are accepted via Visa and receive cashback in Bitcoin. With the Lemon Cash card, this is about 2 percent for each transaction that includes the “Visa Credentials”.
Visa is also busy weaving outside of Latin America to adapt to cryptocurrencies as a payment service provider. For example, Visa works with more than 70 of the “world’s leading crypto platforms” by allowing them to launch card programs “so their customers can easily exchange digital currencies and spend at 80 million merchants worldwide.”
Alongside this, Visa is working with Circle to add stablecoin USDC to the currency network behind credit cards. With Circle also planning a euro stablecoin , the clock is ticking for eurozone banks: Visa could be running its euro cards later this year without the help of a single European financial services provider. In addition, a stablecoin at Visa makes fascinating scenarios conceivable, such as a credit card connected to a smart contract in which users cover their credit limits with crypto collateral. The air for the German banking system is getting tighter and tighter. It can’t be said often enough.
Visa also advises its customers on crypto trends and helps them to develop a strategy. The credit card provider is also working with central banks to advance their projects for digital currencies (Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC). In Brazil, for example, Visa engineers are to work with the central bank to design a prototype this year. Finally, Visa is launching an “NFT Creator Program” designed to help artists, musicians, designers, and filmmakers improve their businesses through NFTs.
Alongside all these initiatives, big and small, but forward-looking in every direction, Visa conducts opinion polls on cryptocurrencies. The latest study “found a ‘near-universal awareness’ of cryptocurrencies.” A third of the respondents have already used digital assets, either as an investment product or as a means of payment. The proportion in emerging markets is larger. “The study also showed that nearly 40 percent of crypto owners would likely switch from their current bank account to one that also offers crypto products.”
Visa aspires to be “the bridge that connects traditional businesses to the future of money,” says Seltzer. Therefore, the company wants to become “a leader in payments with digital currencies” and achieve what every financial service provider with ambitions should aim for right now in bright red, bold and double underlined: “Take advantage of these important opportunities, of these revolutionary changes.” benefit from what is currently going on in the payment system and help shape it.”