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Visa preps for crypto payment with new API

Visa, the United States-based multinational financial services corporation, partners with First Boulevard for its newest suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) centred on cryptocurrency payments.

Following Visa’s press release on February 2, the financial firm announced that the neobank will be the first to pilot its new suite of crypto APIs. This will enable its customers to trade and even apply for custody of digital assets.

According to Visa’s chief product officer Jack Forestell, the company wants to extend the service of Visa to neobanks and financial institutions with their pilot API program.

We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa,’ Forestell said in a statement.

The Kansas-based, Black community-focused digital bank, First Boulevard was chosen by Visa to pilot the crypto API in the hopes of levelling the playing field in accessing new technologies that include digital assets.

In the press statement released in Visa’s official website, the company claims they are ‘committed to embedding diversity and inclusion into its partnership and go-to-market strategies’.

First Boulevard’s president and chief executive officer claimed they are thrilled to partner with Visa, the leader in digital payments.

Moreover, he said that the firm is looking forward to leveraging the APIs in providing another channel to help Black America build wealth and access crypto as a new asset to their community.

The pilot API program by Visa will allow First Boulevard to connect to the infrastructure provided by Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank.

Early in January, Anchorage became the first US national digital asset bank after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) granted the company approval for a national trust charter.

The digital asset bank holds Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for Visa on behalf of their clients.

The future of Visa and crypto payments

During Visa’s first-quarter earnings call with CEO Alfred Kelly, he said the company is preparing its payments network to handle a wide range of cryptocurrency assets.

We believe that we are uniquely positioned to help make cryptocurrencies more safe, useful, and applicable for payments through our global presence, our partnership approach, and our trusted brand,’ Kelly claimed.

Currently, Visa already partnered with 35 various crypto platforms including Crypto.com, BlackFi, Fold, and BitPanda.

Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,’ Kelly added.

In December 2020, Visa published a technical paper outlining their approach for offline point-to-point payments between two devices. The company pitched the idea as a means for central banks to replicate the physical exchange of cash with cryptocurrencies.

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