Global payments processor Visa is making significant strides in the adoption of USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin, as it expands its offering. By integrating USDC issued on Ethereum and Solana into its ecosystem, Visa can leverage its treasury and settlement systems to bridge traditional finance with the world of Web3. This move not only improves the speed of cross-border settlement but also paves the way for future enhancements in the realm of payments and commerce.
Visa has recently announced its support for USD Coin (USDC) payments settled on the Solana blockchain. Through live and completed pilots with issuers and acquirers, Visa has been able to move millions of USDC tokens between partners across the Ethereum and Solana blockchains to settle fiat-based payments. This expansion of Visa’s stablecoin offering signifies a significant step towards the integration of cryptocurrencies into the traditional financial ecosystem.
One of the key advantages of tapping into stablecoins like USDC and blockchains like Ethereum and Solana is the improvement in the speed of cross-border settlement. Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, highlights this benefit, emphasizing how stablecoins and blockchain technology can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of global transactions. By leveraging Visa’s treasury and settlement systems, USDC and other stablecoins can facilitate seamless and near-instantaneous cross-border payments.
Visa’s adoption of USDC began with a collaboration with Crypto.com in 2021. The initial pilot tested stablecoin settlement on the issuance side, using Ethereum-based USDC to receive payments from Crypto.com for cross-border volume on its Australian card program. This move eliminated the need for multiple-day currency conversion processes and wire transfer fees, streamlining the settlement process and reducing costs.
The integration of USDC into Visa’s ecosystem also benefits merchants by enabling faster settlement times. Visa can now send funds to USDC acquirers such as Worldpay and Nuvei, who can then route USDC payments to the merchants they serve. This seamless transfer of funds connects Visa’s traditional fiat ecosystem with stablecoins and the wider cryptocurrency space, providing merchants with more choices for receiving funds and better treasury management options.
Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, and CEO of Circle, the issuer of USDC, describes the integration of USDC into Visa’s ecosystem as a fundamental blockchain innovation that has the potential to transform payments and commerce. USDC, a functional digital dollar, allows for secure and reliable payments that can move at the speed of the internet. This innovation opens up a world of possibilities for the future of cross-border commerce.
Visa’s new USDC settlement service is just the beginning. As Nabil Manji, Worldpay’s head of crypto and web3, points out, this development is the first step in allowing Worldpay’s clients to access faster and more cost-efficient settlement of consumer payments. The integration of USDC with Visa’s systems opens the door to future enhancements such as 24/7/365 settlement availability and real-time or multiple daily settlements. These advancements have the potential to further accelerate cross-border commerce and drive innovation in the payments industry.
Visa’s adoption of USDC and its support for USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain mark significant milestones in the evolution of the traditional financial system towards Web3. By leveraging stablecoins and blockchain technology, Visa aims to improve the speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of cross-border settlement. The integration of USDC into Visa’s ecosystem not only benefits merchants and consumers but also sets the stage for future enhancements in the realm of payments and commerce. As the world continues to embrace the potential of cryptocurrencies, Visa is leading the way in bridging the gap between traditional finance and the world of decentralized finance.