VISA's crypto-backed payment cards notch record transaction volume as owners use them for everyday purchases
As cryptocurrency payments are coming out of age, orthodox debit cards linked to your crypto wallet are proliferating, too. VISA just reported in a Q1 investor call that it has managed to process no less than US$2.5 billion in transactions with its crypto-linked payment cards in the first quarter of its current fiscal year alone. For comparison, this is 70% more than the transaction volume its cryptocurrency-backed cards mustered for the whole of fiscal year 2021 in just a single quarter. Granted, 2021 was the year of crypto, with more than half of Bitcoin investors being newcomers to the field attracted to the rising prices of digital assets last year, but it's still a huge increase for VISA. According to its Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu:
We will continue to lean into the crypto space and our strategy is to be a key partner to provide the connectivity, scale, consumer value proposition, reliability and security that is needed for crypto offerings to continue to grow...
Looking at the broad categories of spend, we don’t see the volume concentrated in a specific merchant vertical with these programs. People are using their crypto-linked cards to spend in a variety of ways - retail goods and services, restaurants, travel. They’re increasingly being treated like a general purpose account.
We'll see if the tendency to pay with crypto wallet-linked VISA cards will hold water after the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies price crash in the past few weeks, but now that people have crypto-based VISA plastic already issued they will certainly use it more, too. The payment card company's list of supported crypto wallets features such industry stalwart like Coinbase or Circle, and VISA is expanding its wallet partnerships from 54 to more than 65 to democratize its crypto payment platform further.