Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. The payments processor said Wednesday its crypto advisory practice, housed within its consulting and analytics division, will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers, and other firms on everything from rolling out crypto features to exploring non-fungible tokens.
Visa named American bank UMB as a client already using its crypto advisory services. The move marks latest attempt to push deeper into the crypto industry. From Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, the company processed $3.5 billion in digital currency transactions through its crypto-linked card schemes, according to Nikola Plecas, European crypto lead.
Mastercard, the credit card giant, sees cryptocurrencies as a critical growth opportunity as it expands into areas beyond card payments. Major payment networks have faced increased competition from an influx of new financial upstarts in recent years.Emerging trends such as open banking, which aims to open up consumer bank information and payment capabilities to rival fintech, threaten to disrupt their business model. Visa is also under pressure from large tech companies. Amazon last month said it would stop accepting credit cards in the U.K. due to the company’s “high fees.” The e-commerce titan has taken similar steps against Visa in Australia and Singapore.