Visa to Help Banks and Businesses Embrace Crypto
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Visa to Help Banks and Businesses Embrace Crypto

The payments giant says digital assets have now achieved "almost universal awareness" — and 94% of adults now know about it.

Visa to Help Banks and Businesses Embrace Crypto

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Cryptocurrencies are "part of the popular consciousness and poised for additional growth" — especially in emerging markets, according to a new report from Visa.

The payments giant says digital assets have now achieved "almost universal awareness" — and 94% of adults now know about it.
Visa has broken down consumers into five categories — and while 37% are "unengaged" with crypto, 11% are skeptics. This leaves 21% who are curious about how they work, 11% who are passive owners, and 21% who are more active. In its report, the company says: 

"Crypto is moving from a niche asset class for a small community of investors to a broader market increasingly accessible for mainstream and new adopters."

Those who own digital assets are typically motivated by their desire to build wealth, while those completing transactions with cryptocurrencies like being able to sidestep punishing conversion fees and make payments at any time.

The report also argues financial institutions will be crucial in spurring further adoption of digital assets — with 59% of consumers believing that major banks need to embrace cryptocurrency if it's going to become more accessible to the public.
There's a lot of interest in the space, too. A sizable 55% of those polled are interested in crypto debit cards that allow digital assets to be converted into fiat at the checkout. And there could be opportunities for banks too, not least because 85% of current crypto investors said they would be willing to purchase digital currencies from their bank.
And indicating that banks may need to start exploring crypto more seriously, 39% of current investors are planning to switch to a bank that supports digital assets within the next 12 months. Overall, Visa concluded:

"While most crypto-aware consumers view cryptocurrency as a wealth-building asset, many believe that within the next five years it will have permeated most types of transactions (everyday purchases of goods or services, transfers to friends and family domestically and internationally) and that within 10 years it will be used by most consumers. We are just seeing the very cusp of consumers experimenting with transacting with cryptocurrency."

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Taking Action

The new figures came as Visa announced that it is launching a global crypto advisory service as banks and merchants explore how to adopt digital currencies.

The credit card giant is hoping to help businesses that are seeking to attract new customers — or retain their existing clients.

And with a number of big brands rolling out NFTs to the masses — including the likes of McDonald's and Disney — Visa also wants to support retailers who are interested in launching their own collections.

The new service could also benefit central banks as they weigh up whether to push ahead with launching their own digital currencies. A number of institutions, including the Federal Reserve, are yet to definitively decide whether to proceed. Visa's deputy CEO for Europe, Antony Cahill, said: 

"Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership. As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy."

The company says it has seen a "material shift" in the mindset of its clients over the past year — "from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto to actually building a strategy and product roadmap."

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