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  • Payment
  • Blockchain
  • United States

Cryptos: Visa launches APIs to equip all banks

FACTS

  • New major announcement on the crypto-currency market: the Visa giant is working on a set of APIs for banks. Banks will be able to offer their customers the possibility to buy, store and sell crypto-currencies.
  • Visa relies on a technical partnership with Anchorage, the platform that holds the crypto-assets that customers will purchase, custody and trade.
  • These APIs are now being piloted for the first time with First Boulevard, an American neo-bank building generational wealth for the Black community.
  • Concretely, First Boulevard customers will be able to buy and sell Bitcoins without leaving their neo-bank's interface.
  • At the same time, First Boulevard will launch a Visa debit card with several features:
    • Payroll advances,
    • cash-back program
    • financial education tools
    • PFM and budget management to improve financial habits
  • If successful, the Visa program will be officially launched later this year.

CHALLENGES

  • Thanks to this first integration, Visa is entering an exploratory phase. It aims to identify the best ways for financial institutions that do not have their own crypto-trading infrastructure to leverage its platform to access the exponential market for crypto-assets. In this way, Visa is once again asserting itself as a technical partner for banks and as "the network of networks". It wants to impose its APIs to technically facilitate banks' access to the trading market, anticipating a strong take-off to come.
  • The choice of this first partner is also a way of underlining its commitment to financial inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity.

MARKET PERSPECTIVE

  • Visa confirms a shift towards the crypto-currency market taken some time ago. The payment giant had published a report at the end of 2020 exploring the consequences of the spread of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBD) on the world economy. A way for the payment giant to showcase its technical expertise on this topical issue.
  • Mastercard is not to be outdone on the subject. It wants to assert itself as a technological partner for banks. To do this, the network has chosen to develop its own test platform for Central Banks wishing to issue an MDBC.
  • After the involvement of PayPal last fall to facilitate the acceptance of crypto-currencies in its network, it seems that digital currencies are not about to leave the forefront of the news.