During the annual stockholder meeting of credit card giant Visa on Tuesday, the company’s Chief Executive, Alfred F. Kelly, spoke about the firm’s plans to integrate blockchain-powered solutions into its services and offerings.
Kelly discussed the firm’s CBDC and private stablecoin plans during his speech. After emphasizing that the technology is still in its “early days,” Kelly stated that the company believes stablecoins and CBDCs can play a significant role in the payments sector. He also made a brief mention of Visa’s “number of initiatives” that are currently in the works.
It’s very early days, but we continue to believe that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies have the potential to play a meaningful role in the payments space, and we have a number of initiatives underway.the CEO said.
“We’ve had an immaterial amount of investments in crypto funds and companies as we seek to invest in the payments ecosystem,” he added.
Kelly reassured that Visa’s financial status has not been affected by high-profile failures like that of FTX in 2022. He stated that there have been no credit losses related to these failures and emphasized Visa’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its payment system as well as the overall payment system.
Visa allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies and NFTs using Visa cards currently. Users can also use Visa cards to convert cryptocurrencies or stablecoins into fiat. Visa is currently accepted by more than 100 million merchants worldwide.
In September 2021, Visa’s research team initiated the Universal Payment Channel (UPC) initiative, a blockchain interoperability project aimed at creating a network of networks for CBDCs and private stablecoins to flow through various payment channels. However, there has been no update on the UPC initiative for over a year.
Recently, Visa announced plans to enable automated bill payments using Ethereum-powered wallets. The company is exploring options to enable auto payments via Ethereum wallets, and in December 2022, it released a proposal detailing how users could set up automatic payments directly from self-custodial wallets, bypassing the need for banks or other centralized entities.