Visa adds crypto-focused services to consulting and analytics offerings

A recent study into decision makers' interest in crypto products spurred the addition of a new consulting service designed to help clients add blockchain-based solutions to their businesses and investments.

Visa announced the launch of its Global Crypto Advisory Practice, a new service within its Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) business that will advise clients on all aspects of crypto investment and adoption

The digital payment company noted recent research found 94% of global "financial decision-makers" are currently considering crypto-based products or investments. This includes NFTs, digital currencies, and other cryptographic ecosystems. Visa plans to offer guidance on adopting crypto strategies and launching crypto-focused products like blockchain-based rewards programs and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) consumer wallets. 

Carl Rutstein, Global Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics said the firm saw 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." This led to the creation of a more comprehensive study in which Visa found that nearly one-third of its respondents had already engaged with crypto products in some way, with 40% of those that already owned cryptocurrency saying they would like to switch their banking needs to an institution that offered crypto-related products within a year. 

Other notable findings within the study included a higher rate of crypto use in emerging markets (37% versus 29% in developed countries); 42% of respondents defining cryptocurrency as the finance tech of the "the future"; and 84% of respondents noting their interest in credit cards that offer crypto-based rewards. 

Despite the growing focus on crypto technology and services, general reticence about buying in too deeply remains. Only 18% of all participants said they would actually switch to a primary bank for its offering of cryptocurrency services in the next 12 months. While this figure did jump to the aforementioned 40% for those that already own cryptocurrency, the technology still seems to have a long way to go to prove itself as something worth investing in amongst the uninitiated. 

That said, a growing number of well-known financial institutions, governments, and major retailers are showing support for what was once thought of as a fintech toy for risk-takers and tech geeks. Visa's decision to base an entire service line around the technology is just another strut in the increasingly sturdy structure holding cryptographic products up as a legitimate, permanent part of global finance. 

Assuming issues surrounding the environmental impact of crypto mining operations can be adequately dealt with, proponents like Jack Dorsey may continue being able to tweet out I told you so's for years to come. 

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