Visa Becomes First Major Payments Network to Settle Transactions in USD Coin

March 29, 2021 – San Francisco – The global payments network, Visa Inc., today announced it will allow the use of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin to settle transactions on its payment network, bridging the worlds of digital and traditional fiat currencies.

Visa is piloting the capability with Crypto.com, a Visa partner and one of the world’s largest crypto platforms, and plans to offer the USDC settlement capability to additional partners later this year.

Support for digital currencies as a new type of settlement currency marks an important step forward for Visa’s network of networks strategy, which is designed to enhance all forms of money movement, whether on the Visa network, or beyond.

Visa has spent the last year establishing a pathway for digital currency settlement within Visa’s existing treasury infrastructure, a platform that moves billions of dollars each day across thousands of institutions in more than 200 markets and 160 currencies. Working with Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank and an exclusive Visa digital currency settlement partner, Visa has launched a pilot that allows Crypto.com to send USDC to Visa to settle a portion of its obligations for the Crypto.com Visa card program.

“Visa came to us in 2019 with an idea — make secure, efficient, and seamless settlement payments possible in digital currency, by linking Visa’s treasury with Anchorage’s custody platform,” commented Diogo Mónica, Co-Founder and President of Anchorage. “This would give the next generation of crypto native issuers the option to directly settle with Visa in a digital currency over a public blockchain.”

Visa’s standard settlement process requires partners to settle in a traditional fiat currency, which can add cost and complexity for businesses built with digital currencies. The ability to settle in USDC can ultimately help Crypto.com and other crypto native companies evaluate fundamentally new business models without the need for traditional fiat in their treasury and settlement workflows. Visa’s treasury upgrades and integration with Anchorage also strengthen Visa’s ability to directly support new central bank digital currency (CBDC) as they emerge in the future.

“Crypto-native fintechs want partners who understand their business and the complexities of digital currency form factors,” said Jack Forestell, executive vice president and chief product officer, Visa. “The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency, and it’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world.”

Visa says the implications of its work with stablecoins are potentially far reaching — enabling the company’s ability to one day support new Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) as they become available. Central Banks are ramping up CBDCs, with 80% reporting that they are engaging in some CBDC-related effort, according to research from the BIS. Visa says it is committed to supporting these initiatives so they can be integrated into the existing payments ecosystem.

Read more about Visa’s strategy for digital currencies.