Visa Establishes Crypto Consulting Service For Banks And Retailers

An Advisory Service to Aid Better Understanding of Crypto

According to a press release, published on Wednesday (Dec. 8, 2021), Visa announced the establishment of a Global Crypto Advisory Practice, an arm of its Visa Consulting Analytics (VCA). The new cryptocurrency advisory service seeks to aid institutions, who want to explore and adopt different segments of the crypto industry.

Visa stated that the first important step for “financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering, retailers looking to delve into NFTs, or central banks exploring digital currencies,” was an understanding of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The Global Head,Visa Consulting Analytics Carl Rutstein, said that the company has witnessed a paradigm shift in its clients’ attitude towards crypto. Rutstein said:

“We’ve seen a material shift in our clients’ mindset in the last year, from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto, to actually building a strategy and product roadmap.”

Furthermore, the company’s consulting service will help institutions to pilot new products such as CBDC-integrated consumer wallets and crypto reward programs, while also creating strategies and evaluating opportunities in the cryptocurrency industry.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based financial services company, UMB Financial Corporation, has started to utilize Visa’s crypto consulting service. According to executive the executive vice president, chief information and product officer atUMB Bank, Uma Wilson:

“We came to Visa to learn more about digital currency and the use cases that are most relevant for various business lines as we serve our customers in the years ahead. VCA helped us begin to explore a roadmap of a strategy — from product and partner selection to cross-functional considerations such as Technology, Finance, Risk, and Compliance.”

Visa Survey Reveals High-Level of Crypto Awareness

Visa also announced the results of a recent survey, which evaluated the level of consumers’ cryptocurrency awareness and adoption. The company surveyed 6,000 financial decision-makers in Brazil, Argentina, Germany, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia.

The results showed that 40% of respondents who own crypto said they would likely switch to a bank that offers cryptocurrency-related services, in the next year. Also, two major factors drive people to invest in cryptocurrency, which is wealth building, and the belief that crypto is the “financial way of the future.” In addition, the study revealed that nearly 95% of respondents surveyed are aware of cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Visa has been delving deep into the crypto industry in recent times, having partnered with several crypto firms. The financial services giant has also shown interest in non-fungible tokens (NFT). In August, Visa bought a CryptoPunk NFT for 49.5 ETH. Two months later, Visa partnered with NFT artist Micah Johnson, to create a program for content creators.

Visa’s rival Mastercard, has also been making headlines in the crypto space, through various partnerships and acquisitions. The firm recently released crypto-linked debit and credit cards in the Asia Pacific (APAC).

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