Global payments giant, Visa, has partnered with Tala, a mobile lending service in emerging markets, with a particular focus in Kenya, to bring the USDC stablecoin to the underbanked population.
The partnership includes USDC operator, Circle, and the Stellar Development Foundation, that will provide USDC via the Tala digital wallet.
Speaking about the partnership, Shivani Siroya, CEO Tala, said
“We are adding the ability for our customers to hold USDC in the Tala wallet and we’re also giving them access to a companion debit card allowing them to physically and virtually enable merchant transactions.”
– CEO, Tala
Eventually, the wallet will be operable with other crypto assets as the crypto ecosystem expands.
The partnership is one of the first deals since Visa’s announcements in March 2021 to start settling transactions in dollar-denominated stablecoins, specifically USDC.
Tala, with a total customer base of over 6 million, exists primarily as a lending platform and personal finance app for the underbanked in the following emerging markets:
- Kenya – Its among the top 3 most popular mobile loan apps
Speaking about this partnership, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto, Visa, said:
“There’s a lot of potential for digital currencies to extend the value of digital payments and reach consumers in emerging markets.”
– Head of Crypto, Visa
Tala is currently focused on offering digital payments for cross-border payments, particularly for remittances and P2P transactions and sees stablecoins as as great solution to currency fluctuations and foreign exchange(FX) conversion fees.
The company has been actively moving beyond credit products toward wallet and account custody services in order to offer consumers ways and means to store and access money – a combination of credit, accounts, and spending power to enablement services tailored to each individual.
According to Sheffield, Visa is now working with Tala in the developmental stages to build out the tech solution and get cards connected to USDC balances.
When the solution is done, Visa will essentially serve as an off-ramp once funds are received.
Tala has processed over $2 billion in credit to over 6 million customers in form of micro-loans and has raised over $200 million with PayPal among its backers since inception.
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