Crypto-linked card usage hit $1 billion in the first half of 2021, Visa reveals

The crypto-linked card has been marked as a key development as consumers spent over $1 billion on goods and services in the first half of the year according to Visa.
Mastercard also estimates that 75 percent of millennials are willing to use cryptos if they understand it better and have hence been developing their own. 

Visa is in a partnership with Crypto.com on crypto-based rewards credit cards. In March this year, they announced they would be accepting payment directly in cryptocurrency, USDC. According to a recent report, consumers have embraced the crypto-linked cards with over $1 billion on goods and services in the first half of the year. In the same period in 2019, consumers spent a fraction of this amount. 

According to Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu, they are working to ensure that cryptocurrencies are more usable than any other currency. 

People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for. There are lots of issues in terms of volatility, etc. But that’s up to the owners of cryptocurrencies to manage and track.

Visa currently has several partners including Coinbase, BlockFi, and Circle which allows card holders to spend directly from their crypto wallets at over 70 million merchants across the world. 

Visa has no plan to add crypto to its balance sheet in near-term

According to Visa, the FTX cryptocurrency platform will be added to its Fintech Fast Track Program aimed at making crypto more practical for consumer and business spending. Data estimates that $18 trillion is spent globally with cash and cheque annually. In the near term, crypto-linked cards and other payments including QR Codes and biometrics may take over. But Prabhu has revealed that, unlike other companies, Visa has no plan to add cryptocurrencies to its balance sheet. 

We don’t hold cryptocurrencies on our balance sheet today. We hold currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business. We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, and pound. So we don’t have plans to hold cryptocurrency because it’s not typically the way we get paid or the way we pay people.

Prabhu also confirmed that there has been a surge in the volume of users on their network. 

We see a lot of volume on our [network]of people buying cryptocurrencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continues.

Recently, Visa rival Mastercard released research notes that estimated that 93 percent of North Americans are planning to use cryptocurrency and other emerging payments like biometrics and QR Codes next year. Also, 75 percent of millennials are willing to use cryptos if they understand it better. 

Read More: Tap partner Mastercard launches digital CBDCs test kit, why Tap Global is already a step ahead

Mastercard has decided to partner with crypto exchange Gemini to permit consumers to earn crypto as a reward. Cardholders will, however, not be allowed to access crypto wallets on the site.

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