Visa’s use of crypto-linked cards reach $2.5 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, according to the company’s latest earnings call. In a phone interview with CNBC, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu said, “People are using their crypto-linked cards to pay in a variety of ways – retail products and services, restaurants, travel.” As part of a push for digital currency acceptance, Visa has launched a crypto consultancy service and invested in crypto platforms.
The first quarter of this year saw Visa’s use of crypto-linked cards reach $2.5 billion
According to Visa’s last earnings call, customers utilized its crypto-linked cards to make $2.5 billion in payments in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
In the fiscal year 2021, this accounted for 70% of the company’s total crypto volume. “This tells us that having a Visa card linked to a crypto platform account is important to users.” “There’s value in being able to access that cash, to pay purchases and control expenses, and to do so swiftly and seamlessly,” Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told CNBC in a phone interview.
“We will continue to lean into the crypto space, and our strategy is to be a key partner to provide the connectivity, scale, consumer value proposition, reliability, and security that is required for crypto offerings to continue to grow,” Visa CEO Al Kelly said on the earnings call, as the stock rose in after-hours trading before opening sharply higher on Friday.
Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi are among the companies that have joined the payments company’s network of crypto wallet partners, which has grown from 54 to more than 65. The number of shops that accept cryptocurrency as payment has also increased to around 100 million.
“With these programs, we don’t see the volume concentrated in a certain merchant vertical when we look at the broad categories of spend.” People are spending crypto-linked cards on a variety of things, including retail products and services, restaurants, and travel. Prabhu told CNBC that they’re increasingly being viewed as a general-purpose account.
Mastercard and cryptocurrency exchange Gemini are collaborating on a card that will allow customers to earn cryptocurrency as a reward. Cardholders, on the other hand, will not have direct access to their digital wallet. Following prior intentions to debut over the summer, Gemini, the crypto exchange co-founded by billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss hopes to make the card available to users on a waitlist in early 2022.
The rapid growth of major cryptocurrencies slowed in the second part of last year. Bitcoin has lost more than 45 percent after hitting an all-time high of about $69,000 in November.
“Despite the volatility in the crypto markets, we’ve seen this payment volume continue to grow,” Prabhu said. “Crypto rewards are a significant part of the value proposition for many of these card programs, particularly for consumers who are new to crypto and may not be directly investing in it, but are excited for the opportunity to earn it as they spend fiat [currency like the dollar].” We’re keeping a careful eye on these programs to see how they affect the incentives category as a whole.”
Visa has no intentions to store bitcoin on its balance sheet, but it has set up a crypto consultancy business and made a number of recent investments in crypto platforms as it pushes for digital currency acceptance.
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