Updated 24 Mar, 2021

Visa to Enable Payments in Bitcoin on Its Global Network

Visa Accepts Bitcoin

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Visa working on allowing bitcoin as a payment method
  • The move is another step towards large-scale adoption

Visa Allows Bitcoin as a Payment Method

Visa, the digital payments giant, announced plans to enable bitcoin buying and spending directly on its global network. Al Kelly, CEO of Visa, said in a podcast by “Fortune’s Leadership Next” last week the company plans to allow bitcoin to be accepted as a form of payment that will be converted into a fiat currency before it arrives on the other end of the transaction.

The move will cover Visa’s global payments network, which means that more than 70 million merchant companies that support Visa’s payment cards around the world could be paid in bitcoin. Mr. Kelly focused the crypto discussion on two topics. The first one was on enabling “the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials”. “We are working with some bitcoin wallets to allow bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted,” Kelly added.

The second category of cryptocurrency services will deal with digital currencies where the company sees “a strong potential for those to become a new payment vehicle. In fact, it could be an accelerant in some of the emerging markets as we look around the world.” This category will support fiat-backed cryptocurrencies, also known as stablecoins.

“Are we going to say in five years that it was a fad and it was not a big deal? Or is it going to be extremely mainstream? I’m not smart enough to know but what I am smart enough to do is make sure that our company is in the middle of it today so that if it takes off, we are in the middle of helping move that money,” Al Kelly said in the conversation.

Visa’s move comes just a month after its rival, Mastercard, revealed it is bringing cryptocurrency onto its network. The digital asset market has been enjoying waves of acceptance this year, everywhere from investment banks to payment gateways to institutional investors. Visa’s leap will help cryptocurrencies to continue making their way to wider audiences and mainstream use.