Payments giant Visa is launching new crypto consulting and advisory services aiming to help its clients navigate the world of crypto assets.
Visa’s Global Crypto Advisory Practice will sit in its Visa Consulting & Analytics division, Visa said in a press release Wednesday. The payment company said that its advisory group will be for financial institutions that are eager to attract or maintain customers with a crypto offering and for retail traders looking to delve into unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) tied to assets central banks exploring the digital space.
As Reuters reported, American financial services company UMB is Visa’s crypto advisory services client.
“We came to Visa to learn more about crypto and stablecoins and the use cases that are most relevant for our retail and commercial business lines,” said Uma Wilson, executive vice president of UMB Bank.
According to a report they released Wednesday, Visa surveyed 6,000 financial decision-makers across parts of the world, and 94% were aware of crypto. The company also found that one-third of its respondents directly engaged with crypto as an investment vehicle or a medium of exchange. Furthermore, 62% of that group said their use had increased over the past year. Out of the crypto owners surveyed, 40% said they would likely switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto products from one that does not within the next 12 months.
“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, the Global Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics in the statement.
The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to push deeper into the cryptocurrency industry, with the firm having filed for numerous blockchain-related patents in the past. Visa’s research team is also working on a “Universal Payment Channel” project, which is a blockchain interoperability hub connecting multiple blockchain networks and allowing digital assets to move from various protocols and wallets.
Visa is one of the many payments processors that has entered the cryptocurrency business in recent years. Its rival, Mastercard, recently rolled out crypto-linked payment cards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, while online payments giants PayPal launched a new consumer app for crypto, savings, and direct deposits earlier this year.