Visa launches crypto advisory services

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The case for crypto is getting stronger for financial institutions, experts say
The case for crypto is getting stronger for financial institutions, experts say

Dubai - New global research finds that nearly 40 per cent of crypto owners would be likely to switch primary banks to one that offers crypto products


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021, 6:52 PM

Visa on Monday announced the launch of Visa’s Global Crypto Advisory Practice, an offering within Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) designed to help clients and partners advance their own crypto journey.

The announcement comes at a moment when digital currencies are taking greater hold in the popular consciousness. According to research released from Visa, awareness of crypto among financial decision makers surveyed is near universal at 94 per cent around the world.

For financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering, retailers looking to delve into NFTs, or central banks exploring digital currencies, understanding the crypto ecosystem is a vital first step. Through their work with more than 60 crypto platforms, Visa’s global network of consultants and product experts have deep expertise to help financial institutions evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations like 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.

Today, Visa is engaging with clients and partners in every region, including the US, where Visa’s team is working with UMB Financial Corporation.

“We came to Visa to learn more about digital currency and the use cases that are most relevant for various business lines as we serve our customers in the years ahead,” said Uma Wilson, executive vice president, chief information and product officer at UMB Bank. "VCA helped us begin to explore a roadmap of a strategy – from product and partner selection to cross-functional considerations such as technology, finance, risk, and compliance.”

Visa's new global study, 'The Crypto Phenomenon: Consumer Attitudes & Usage,' Visa 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, nearly 40 per cent of crypto owners surveyed report they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.

“Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership,” said Terry Angelos, SVP, and global head of fintech, Visa. “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.”

Awareness of crypto is almost universal at 94 per cent globally among survey participants with discretion over their household finances. Nearly one in three crypto-aware adults already own or use cryptocurrency, and 62 per cent of that group say their use has increased in the past year. Engagement is higher in emerging markets, with 37 per cent of the crypto-aware consumers surveyed in emerging markets using or owning crypto, compared to 29 per cent in developed markets.

The biggest drivers of owning and using cryptocurrency are to take part in the 'financial way of the future' and to 'build wealth' – both forward looking motivators. Crypto-linked cards and crypto rewards are also seen as attractive. Among current crypto owners, 81 per cent express interest in crypto-linked cards, which allow you to convert and spend crypto at the retailers where you shop in the same way you can use a debit or credit card. In addition, 84 per cent are interested in crypto rewards, which allow you to earn crypto as a reward for your card spending.

Globally, 18 per cent 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 jumps to 24 per cent. Among consumers who already own cryptocurrency, nearly 40 per cent are willing to make the switch.

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