VISA launches cryptocurrency debit cards in +40 countries

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Payments industry giant Visa is launching cryptocurrency debit cards in more than 40 countries, in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.

“At Visa, we believe digital currencies will have a lasting impact on the future of financial services and money movement,” a Visa executive said of the new service.

Visa in an official statement referred to a “long-term global partnership” with West Realm Shires Services Inc. and FTX Trading Ltd. to launch cryptocurrency debit cards in more than 40 countries. These two companies are behind cryptocurrency exchanges FTX US and FTX.com respectively.

“As part of the alliance, FTX will begin offering FTX-branded Visa debit cards to its customers internationally – focusing on Latin American, European and Asian countries in the initial phases of launch,” the statement said.

Connected to FTX

Debit cards are linked directly to a user’s FTX accounts. Currently, these cards are available in the U.S. and “are now rolling out globally in more than 40 additional countries, including many in Latin America,” the exchange explained, adding:

“The next phase of Visa’s FTX-branded debit cards is expected in Europe before the end of the year, with additional regional versions planned for 2023”.

Payments with cryptocurrencies without fees

The debit cards allow users to pay for goods and services with their cryptocurrency balance in the wallets they hold on FTX at 80 million merchant locations around the world that accept Visa.

FTX Visa debit cardholders will not be subject to administrative or processing fees for using the card,” FTX noted.

Statements from the protagonists

Cuy Sheffield, head of cryptocurrency at Visa, commented:

“AT VISA WE BELIEVE THAT DIGITAL CURRENCIES WILL HAVE A LASTING IMPACT ON THE FUTURE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE MOVEMENT OF MONEY.”

For his part, Adam Jacobs head of payments at FTX, noted:

“THROUGH OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH VISA WE CONTINUE TO SEE FURTHER EXPANSION OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN DIGITAL ASSETS AND THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECOSYSTEM.”

“Although their prices have declined, there is still steady interest in cryptocurrencies,” Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told CNBC, adding: “We don’t have a position as a company on what the value of each cryptocurrency should be or whether it’s good for the long term. As long as people have things they want to buy, we want to facilitate that.”

This is undoubtedly great news as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned, as it is expected to increase their adoption and help make them part of millions of people’s everyday lives.

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