The global payments technology company, Visa, has said that it will support digital currencies and blockchain networks that its clients and partners demand, and that it will help shape and support the role they play in the future of money.
The announcement comes the same time that Mastercard announced it has streamlined its card application approval processes for crypto firms which now takes just weeks.
In a press statement, Visa said it is already engaging with policy makers and global organizations, like the World Economic Forum, to help shape the dialogue and understanding of digital currencies.
Visa International recently filed for a cryptocurrency system patent that is meant to replace physical currency. The system, which utilizes both central banks and commercial banks, leverages a private blockchain to improve the payment ecosystem.
In order to address regulatory concerns, Visa is looking to work with closely with leading companies and the public sector, including policy makers and regulators, from issues like consumer protection to payments resilience.
We’re proud to work with innovators like @Visa that are building the bridge between crypto and traditional finance. We’re excited about its vision, commitment to working with leaders in this space, and the potential to connect crypto to its global network. https://t.co/HNz3cFdD9n
In order to advance its approach to digital currencies, Visa says its digital currency strategy will reflect a set of three key values:
Security, privacy, integrity and trust – We will maintain a rigorous focus on data protection, consumer privacy and fairness, and full compliance with all applicable laws
Remaining currency- and network-agnostic – We plan to support the digital currencies and blockchain networks that our clients and partners demand, in keeping with our broader network-of-networks strategy
Alignment with Visa’s core capabilities – We have deep expertise in securing transaction data, working with diverse stakeholders, and maintaining an always-on network with continuous availability. We will pursue projects that allow us to apply this expertise to new networks and technologies that can benefit our existing clients and partners
Visa is currently accepted in over 200 countries globally with 61 million merchants using its network for payments. Visa’s expansion in Africa has also accelerated with the recent partnership between Safaricom and Visa that seeks to expand access to digital payments for M-PESA consumers and merchants in Africa. The partnership will see the development of products that will support digital payments for MPESA customers.
There are over 3.4 billion Visa cards globally.
“The concept of digital currency — or a digital version of cash controlled by a private key — was created more than a decade ago, with the launch of Bitcoin. Consumers and businesses are adopting digital currencies and circulation is growing rapidly, reaching over $10B in May.
We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places. As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money.
We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow.”