Visa empowering crypto financial inclusion for partner ecosystem
- Visa’s Global Crypto Advisory Practice helps financial institutions understand the crypto ecosystem
- Engagement of crypto is also higher in emerging markets with 37% of the crypto-aware consumers using or owning crypto
- 40% of crypto owners report they would be either likely or very likely to switch their primary bank, to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months
Visa is enabling its partners to advance their cryptocurrency adoption strategies. As more financial players begin realizing the potential of crypto, the launch of the Visa Global Crypto Advisory Practice comes at a zeitgeist moment, when digital currencies are taking greater hold in the popular consciousness.
Crypto and other digital are being seen as shiny new financial assets, growing in popularity among younger investors, making traditional institutions eager to attract and retain customers. And the only way they can do this is with a crypto offering, delve into NFTs or explore digital currencies. However, understanding the crypto ecosystem can be complex for financial institutions.
According to research released from Visa, awareness of crypto among financial decision-makers surveyed is near-universal, at 94% around the world. With that said, it is not surprising that Visa is offering crypto advisory services as well. Other major financial players like PayPal, American Express, Citibank, and Mastercard have also announced investments and availability of a variety of crypto services as well recently.
Visa’s global network of consultants and product experts have worked with more than 60 crypto platforms, possessing deep expertise to help financial institutions evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations. This includes crypto rewards programs and CBDC-integrated consumer wallets.
“We’ve seen a material shift in our clients’ mindset in the last year, from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto, to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Carl Rutstein, Global Head, Visa Consulting & Analytics.
One client that Visa’s team is working with is UMB Financial Corporation. Uma Wilson, executive vice president, chief information and product officer at UMB Banks said Visa helped them explore a roadmap of a strategy. This includes product and partner selection to cross-functional considerations such as technology, finance, risk, and compliance.
Visa sees an increase in crypto adoption
UMB’s interest in crypto is just one of the many financial institutions hoping to build crypto solutions. In fact, new Visa research on crypto shows significant awareness and adoption among consumers globally.
The Crypto Phenomenon: Consumer Attitudes & Usage, a study found that nearly one-third of respondents have directly engaged with crypto, either as an investment vehicle or as a medium of exchange. And globally, close to 40% of crypto owners surveyed report that they would be likely or very likely, to switch from their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.
For Terry Angelos, the SVP and global head of fintech at Visa, Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership. “As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy,” added Angelos.
The study, which surveyed more than 6000 financial decision-makers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the UK, and the US also uncovered that nearly one in three crypto-aware adults already own or use cryptocurrency, and the majority of that group (62%) say their use has increased in the past year.
Engagement of crypto is also higher in emerging markets with 37% of the crypto-aware consumers using or owning crypto, compared to 29% in developed markets. The biggest drivers of owning and using cryptocurrency are to take part in the financial way of the future (42%) and to build wealth (41%), both forward-looking motivators.
Interestingly, among current crypto owners, 81% express interest in crypto-linked cards, which allows them to convert and spend crypto at the retailers where they shop in the same way they can use a debit or credit card. 84% are interested in crypto rewards, which allow them to earn cryptocurrencies as incentives for their card spending. This is probably why more financial players are offering crypto-enabled credit and debit cards as well.
Lastly, the main reason why Visa is offering crypto advisory services is that 18% of survey participants say they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months. This is particularly true for emerging markets, which jump to 24%. Among consumers who already own cryptocurrency, nearly 40% are willing to make the switch.
1 December 2022
1 December 2022