- Visa’s global crypto advisory practice helps financial institutions understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem
- Cryptocurrency engagement is also higher in emerging markets where 37% of conscious consumers use or own cryptocurrency.
- 40% of cryptocurrency owners report that they are likely or very likely to change their primary bank, to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months
Visa enables its partners to develop their own cryptocurrency adoption strategies. As more financial players begin to realize the potential of crypto, the launch of Visa’s global crypto advisory practice comes at a moment of the zeitgeist, when cryptocurrencies gain an even greater foothold in the public consciousness.
Crypto and other digital currencies are being seen as shiny new financial assets that are growing in popularity among young investors, making traditional institutions eager to attract and retain clients. And the only way they can do that is to offer cryptocurrency, delve into NFTs, or explore cryptocurrencies. However, understanding the crypto ecosystem can be complex for financial institutions.
According to research from Visa, awareness of cryptocurrency among the financial decision-makers surveyed is near-universal, at 94% worldwide. With that said, it comes as no surprise that Visa offers cryptocurrency advisory services as well. Other major financial players such as PayPal, American Express, Citibank and Mastercard have also announced investments and the availability of a variety of crypto services recently.
Visa’s global network of consultants and product experts has worked with more than 60 crypto platforms, and they have deep expertise to help financial institutions assess the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations. This includes crypto rewards programs and integrated CBDC consumer wallets.
“We have seen a fundamental shift in the mindset of our clients in the past year, from wanting to explore and experiment with cryptocurrencies, to building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Carl Rutstein, global head of Visa Consulting and Analytics.
One of the clients the Visa team works with is UMB Financial Corporation. Uma Wilson, Executive Vice President and Head of Information and Product at UMB Banks, said Visa helped them explore a roadmap for the strategy. This includes product and partner selection for cross-functional considerations such as technology, financing, risk and compliance.
Visa Sees Increase in Cryptocurrency Adoption
UMB’s interest in cryptocurrency is just one of many financial institutions hoping to build crypto solutions. Indeed, Visa’s new research on cryptocurrencies is showing great awareness and adoption among consumers globally.
Cryptographic phenomenon: consumer behavior and use, a study found that nearly a third of respondents have been directly involved in cryptocurrency, either as an investment vehicle or as a medium of exchange. Globally, nearly 40% of crypto owners surveyed reported that they are likely or very likely to move from their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.
For Terry Angelos, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Financial Technology at Visa, Crypto represents a technological transformation for the movement of digital money and ownership. “As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views of the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy,” Angelos added.
The study, which polled more than 6,000 financial decision makers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, also revealed that one in three crypto-aware adults already owns or uses cryptocurrency, and the majority of that group (62%) says ) Its use has increased in the last year.
Cryptocurrency engagement is also higher in emerging markets where 37% of crypto-aware consumers use or own cryptocurrency, compared to 29% in developed markets. The biggest motivations for owning and using cryptocurrencies are to participate in the financial way of the future (42%) and build wealth (41%), both of which are forward-looking motivators.
Interestingly, among existing crypto owners, 81% expressed interest in crypto-linked cards, which allow them to convert cryptocurrency and spend it at retailers where they shop in the same way they would with a debit or credit card. 84% are interested in crypto rewards, which allow them to earn cryptocurrency as incentives for spending their cards. Perhaps this is the reason why more and more financial players are offering crypto-enabled credit and debit cards as well.
Finally, the main reason Visa offers crypto-related advisory services is that 18% of survey respondents say they are likely or very likely to change their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months. This is especially true for emerging markets, which jumped to 24%. Among consumers who already own cryptocurrency, nearly 40% are willing to make the switch.