To power the next generation of payments, the chief executive of credit card giant Visa is still convinced that blockchain-powered solutions can be included in its services and capabilities. Al Kelly, who will formally retire on February 1, spoke on a teleconference during Visa’s annual stockholder meeting on January 24 to discuss the company’s intentions for private stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Visa going in big on crypto
According to a San Francisco Business Times article dated January 24, Kelly stated that they would continue to think that stablecoins and CBDCs have the capability to play a significant role in the payments arena, even if it is still very early in the game. To that end, he states that Visa is working on various projects.
Kelly also affirmed that several “high-profile disasters” that shook the cryptocurrency industry in 2022 did not affect Visa’s balance sheet. According to him, no credit losses have been incurred due to these failures. Kelly affirms that the integrity of Visa’s payment system, the whole payment system, and of course, their brand’s reputation serves as a symbol of trust as they strive to uphold integrity in all they do.
Visa’s crypto projects
Visa has worked on a variety of cryptocurrency-related projects throughout the years.
The Universal Payment Channel (UPC) concept, started by its research team in September 2021, was created to create a “network of networks” allowing CBDCs and private stablecoins to flow through different payment channels. However, Visa has yet to offer an update on the UPC in well than a year.
More recently, on December 20, 2022, the payment industry major stated that it was developing a plan to enable automatic bills to be paid via a user’s Ethereum-powered wallet.
Additionally, Visa recently launched several “zero cost” cryptocurrency debit cards, including one with Blockchain.com on October 26, 2022, which is still active, and another with FTX, which has since discontinued its collaboration.
Visa in 2023
Even though the data in Visa’s 2022 annual report only extended until September 30, around five weeks before FTX failed, further details might be published during the company’s Q1 2023 earnings call on January 26.
On February 1, Ryan McInerney, the president of Visa, will formally succeed Al Kelly as CEO; Kelly will continue to serve as executive chairman. McInerney seems similarly, if not even more optimistic, about blockchain-based payment systems.
In a November 2022 interview with Fortune, McInerney said that Visa still has “$14 trillion of dollars out there being spent by customers that can be digitized” and that they are still investigating how to effectively use cryptocurrency payments.