Visa has announced its latest move to modernize cross-border money transfers. The company is expanding its stablecoin settlement capabilities to the high-performing Solana blockchain and collaborating with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei.
Visa has already conducted live pilot programs with issuers and acquirers, successfully transferring millions of USDC between its partners through the Solana and Ethereum blockchain networks for settling fiat-denominated payments approved via VisaNet.
While consumers enjoy the convenience of nearly instant payment authorizations when using Visa cards at millions of merchant locations worldwide, the behind-the-scenes process involves the movement of funds between the issuer's bank and the acquirer's bank. Visa's treasury and settlement systems facilitate this process, ensuring the seamless clearing, settlement, and transfer of billions in transactions daily across nearly 15,000 financial institutions and more than 25 global currencies.
In 2021, Visa initiated experiments with the utilization of USDC within its treasury operations. These experiments paved the way for a pilot collaboration with Crypto.com, positioning Visa as one of the pioneering major payment networks to explore stablecoin settlement from the issuer's perspective. This endeavor resulted in a successful pilot program that harnessed USDC and the Ethereum blockchain for receiving payments from Crypto.com, specifically for cross-border transaction volumes within their live card program in Australia. As a result, Crypto.com has now integrated USDC to fulfill its settlement obligations associated with Visa cards in Australia and has plans to extend this capability to other markets. Prior to this pilot, cross-border settlement for purchases made with Crypto.com Visa cards involved a protracted currency conversion process and costly international wire transfers, spanning several days. With the integration of USDC and the Ethereum blockchain, Crypto.com can now seamlessly transfer USDC across borders directly to a Visa treasury-managed Circle account, streamlining the international wire transfer process, reducing complexity, and saving time.
Utilizing Visa's dedicated Circle account, Visa can now efficiently manage settlement disbursements in USDC, transferring them to Worldpay and Nuvei, who can subsequently distribute these USDC payments to their respective end merchants, expediting the settlement process.
Worldpay and Nuvei are prominent global acquirers serving a wide spectrum of merchants across various industries worldwide. This encompasses a growing number of merchants engaged in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem, including on-ramp providers, gaming platforms, and NFT marketplaces. Many of these businesses may prefer to receive stablecoins rather than traditional fiat currencies for the card payments they accept.
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