As part of its Fast Track program, payments giant Visa is working with Circle to integrate the USDC stablecoin making it simpler for businesses worldwide to make instant payments in USDC.
On Tuesday, December 2, payments and credit card giant Visa Inc (NYSE: V) announced that it will integrate the Ethereum-based USDC stablecoin to its global payments network consisting of over 60 million merchants. USDC is a USD-pegged stablecoin developed by Center, the joint consortium between Circle and Coinbase.
We’ve been closely following the growth of stablecoins for the past two years and I’m super excited for Visa to partner with @circlepay to help them connect USDC to our global network. https://t.co/pZ0iLanRjD
— Cuy Sheffield (@cuysheffield) December 2, 2020
However, Visa said that it won’t itself custody the USDC. Rather, it will work with Circle to help Visa card issuers integrate the USDC software. Thus, all Visa card users and merchants will be able to send and receive payments in USDC. As Forbes reported, Circle is also working on a similar Fast Track program by Visa.
This program will allow businesses across the world to make payments to each other in USDC. The system will then covert USDC to the respective national currency before users can spend it via Visa cards. Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa said:
“This will be the first, corporate card that will allow businesses to be able to spend a balance of USDC. We think that this will significantly increase the utility that USDC can have for Circle’s business clients. We continue to think of Visa as a network of networks. Blockchain networks and stablecoins, like USDC, are just additional networks. So we think that there’s a significant value that Visa can provide to our clients, enabling them to access them and enabling them to spend at our merchants.”
This is also a big win for Circle as the partnership with Visa will give the USDC stablecoin massive liquidity in the financial markets. Apart from its primary use case of stablecoin, USDC is also working on expanding its footprint.
USDC Integration and Other Visa Developments around Crypto
Visa is making some bold moves in the crypto space as digital currencies push further for mainstream adoption. As part of its Fast Track Program, Visa has onboarded nearly 25 crypto wallets so far. Each of these wallets will also be able to pilot the USDC integration.
The digital payments revolution is happening for real and Visa has shown its intentions to work along with commercial banks. Sheffield said: “We are actively working with commercial banks to help them understand and navigate transitions to digital currency based products.”
On the other hand, Visa has also partnered with BlockFi for launching a Bitcoin rewards credit card by early 2021. The new credit card will rewards users with 1.5% cash back for all purchases made in Bitcoin. BlockFi said that the partnership with Visa aims ‘expanding Bitcoin’s accessibility to a broader set of consumers’.