Visa hopes its new crypto consulting arm will help it become cooler than its competition

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The world’s largest card company has doubled down on its bid to capture the crypto market. Visa today announced that it has launched a crypto advisory exercise for its clients and partners under its Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA) arm.

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The news came just a few months after Visa’s head of crypto, Q Sheffield, The declared property class had become “cool” At a fintech conference last month. Payments made waves when it bought cryptocurrency NFTs in August this year, but its move to launch a dedicated crypto consultancy shows that its attempt to capture crypto market share in a crowded field goes beyond a marketing stunt.

Sheffield told Nerdshala in an interview that Visa’s partnership with the crypto platform has doubled in the past 18 months. Consumers have spent about $3.5 million dollars using Visa’s crypto-linked card programs, Sheffield said, Up from $1 million in July,

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It also announced the results of a new global survey conducted on consumer attitudes about crypto, which found that 40% of its 6,000+ respondents would be likely to switch primary banks to one that offers crypto products.

Sheffield said Visa has seen “an incredible amount of inbound calls from hundreds of customers and partners and traditional financial institutions” who are looking to integrate crypto into their offerings. Visa’s consulting arm has about 700 employees, although the company did not share how many would be affiliated with the crypto practice.

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Sheffield said, “We see Visa well positioned as a global neutral brand, with deep expertise in crypto, which can help to overcome some of the complexities of these new technologies and allow banks to integrate it into their core products.” can help bring it in.”

To that end, Visa participated in a $60 million Series B investment in blockchain compliance firm TRM Analytics, announced yesterday, American Express and Citi also participated in the fundraising. Visa is one of many cardholders scrambling to make inroads into crypto, threatening their fee-dependent business model by replacing them as the new underlying infrastructure for payments.

MasterCard, for its part, Launched a crypto rewards program in October this yearUsing Bakkt as a custodian of digital assets. Visa does not hold cryptocurrency directly, but has partnered with Anchorage Digital – a company to provide this capability. It invested in the first in 2019. Visa is building its crypto API platform on top of Anchorage, allowing other banks to access its custodial services, Sheffield said.

Sheffield anticipates growth in use cases such as Visa’s crypto-linked debit card programs, as well as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Although only seven countries have launched CBDCs so far, 87 more are considering them, According to the Atlantic Council,

Sheffield said Visa hopes to capitalize on this interest by helping banks develop CBDC-related products.

“We are spending a lot of time researching what infrastructure CBDCs will use for consumer experiences, and how consumers will interact with them. We are taking that expertise and engagement that we are doing with central banks and banks. They are helping us to think about their role in preparation, because we think there will be many countries that are going down this route,” Sheffield said.

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