Visa has formally announced its plans to help banks roll out Bitcoin and cryptocurrency buying and trading services with a Visa crypto software program after partnering with at least 35 crypto companies in recent years. Using Visa’s crypto APIs, banks will be able to offer several cryptocurrency services to their customers, including — buying, trading, and custody of Bitcoin, Forbes reported.
Visa announced Wednesday yet another partnership this time with First Boulevard, a bank focused on serving the Black community. The bank will be the first to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto APIs.
“As part of the initial pilot program, Visa plans to enable First Boulevard to connect to infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, to allow their customers to buy and sell bitcoin,” the payments giant explained. Customers of the bank will be able to “purchase, custody and trade digital assets” held by Anchorage. First Boulevard will also launch a Visa debit card.
The crypto API development marks the next phase of Visa’s digital currency strategy. The global payments giant explained that the product will “help additional Visa clients access and integrate crypto features into their product offering, and is anticipated to launch later this year.”
Last month crypto custodian Anchorage became the first U.S. national “digital asset bank” after it was granted approval for a national trust charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), will hold the bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on behalf of Visa’s clients, as Bitboy Crypto reported.
“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,” Kelly said, according to a transcript of the call, pointing to digital currency platforms and wallets Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda that have issued Visa cards.
Earlier this week, Bitboy Crypto reported that Visa’s CEO Al Kelly stated the payment service is in a place where they can make cryptocurrencies more “safe, useful and applicable” and may add cryptocurrencies to the company’s payments network.
Kelly announced the potential integration on the company’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, describing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as “digital gold” which are “not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”
Viaa announced a partnership with BlockFi last year to introduce a credit card that will offer Bitcoin as rewards. Like many “cash back” cards, the card will kick back 1.5% of all purchases – but in Bitcoin instead of cash.
The Blockfi card is going to also offer a lump sum of $250 in Bitcoin for users that spend more than $3,000 in the first three month after activating the card. It will be issued by Evolve Bank & Trust, and will also carry a $200 annual fee.
VISA also partnered with Ethereum-based USDC stablecoin, announcing they will be connecting their global payments network of over 60 million merchants to the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) issued on Ethereum and developed by Circle Internet Financial, as we shift towards a world of digital cash.
Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $37,401.25] UP 3.7% in the last 24 hours according to Coingecko at the time of this report.