Noor Zainab Hassain
(Reuters) – Visa Inc The world’s biggest payment processor (NYSE:) launched Wednesday a global cryptocurrency advisory service to clients, including banks, merchants and other financial institutions, in the wake of the increasing adoption of digital currency.
Visa’s move comes amid unprecedented investor demand. Visa’s new offering is targeted at financial institutions looking to retain or attract customers. It also targets retailers who are interested in exploring non-fungible tokens, or central banks that explore digital currencies.
Visa provides services to help institutions understand cryptocurrencies. It also allows clients to access its network of payment processors for digital offerings.
Uma Wilson, UMB Bank’s executive vice president and regional U.S. bank lender stated, “We visited Visa to learn more crypto and stablecoins”
Visa conducted a global study and found nearly 40% would switch to a crypto-related bank as their primary lender in the following 12 months.
Visa’s network allows for the purchase, sale, and custody digital currencies. The company also has a credit card which allows users to earn bitcoin from purchases. It also permits the use of stablecoin, which is a cryptocurrency that can be used to settle payments on its payment network.
Vasant Prabhu (Visa’s Chief Financial Officer) told Reuters that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin must have stable prices in order to function as a currency.
Prabhu explained that “if the price is going fluctuate between $60,000 and $50,000 in just a few hours”, it would be very difficult for a merchant (bitcoin as a currency) to accept.”
I don’t know whether cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin will ever become a means of exchanging money. Stablecoins would,” he stated, while adding that Visa would enable such transactions when Visa is ready.
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