VISA Heads Deeper into Crypto with Its API Pilot Program

Ashna  |  Feb 4, 2021

VISA is collaborating with federally chartered digital asset bank Anchorage to facilitate the customers in buying and selling digital assets like Bitcoin at traditional banks.

According to the press statement, the APIs pilot program will allow the customers to easily connect to the infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner Anchorage to allow their customers to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin within their existing consumer experiences.

VISA’s Vision in the Cryptocurrency Market

Visa wants to create a solid product that can expand into other cryptocurrencies including stablecoins while moving into other crypto services like trading. According to an interview, Visa apparently has a waitlist of banks. For now, Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank to be involved in the pilotThe payment giant has previously been seen helping crypto companies issue bank cards. Moreover, to this date, Visa has successfully partnered with 35 crypto firms.

During an earnings call last week, Al Kelly, CEO of Visa, mentioned that stablecoins could be used for global commerce. Also stating that:

“To the extent, a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network.”

What’s Next in Visa's Plan

In an interview, Visa crypto lead Sheffield expressed:

“This is shifting to the next phase of Visa’s strategy where we’re looking at how Visa can also be a bridge between the thousands of financial institutions … and help them tap into the growing world of crypto assets and blockchain networks.”

It is noted that Visa’s partnership with Anchorage was announced after Anchorage became the first OCC-approved national crypto bank. But Sheffield claimed that Visa was working with Anchorage long before the news of approval came. 

Aims to Create a Crypto Bank Catering to Blacks

Visa partnership with five Black banks would cater to the black community by providing financial and business services to them.

First Boulevard is known for creating tools that will help African Americans build wealth. Donald Hawkins, president of First Boulevard, said that its partnership with Visa and Bitcoin services will educate their customers about cryptocurrencies. 

Hawkins wants his customers to come to the bank to gain knowledge about investing in cryptocurrencies rather than inclining towards youtube videos.

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