Payments giant Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services in a move to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies.
The firm said on Wednesday that its crypto advisory practice, housed within its consulting and analytics division, will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers and other firms on everything from rolling out crypto features and exploring nonfungible tokens to developing wallets for central bank digital currencies.
According to Visa, part of banks’ interest in cryptocurrencies is in remaining competitive. Citing a recent in-house study, Visa said that “40% of crypto owners surveyed report they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.”
Per Reuters, American financial services company UMB is a client of Visa’s crypto advisory services.
“We came to Visa to learn more about crypto and stablecoins and the use cases that are most relevant for our retail and commercial business lines,” said Uma Wilson, executive vice president of UMB Bank.
The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to push deeper into the cryptocurrency industry, with the firm having filed for numerous blockchain-related patents in the past. Visa’s research team is also working on a “Universal Payment Channel” project, which is a blockchain interoperability hub connecting multiple blockchain networks and allowing digital assets to move from various protocols and wallets.
Visa is one of the many payments processors that has entered the cryptocurrency business in recent years. Its rival, Mastercard, recently rolled out crypto-linked payment cards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, while online payments giants PayPal launched a new consumer app for crypto, savings and direct deposits earlier this year.