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Visa sees two classes of digital assets. New assets, like Bitcoin (BTC), are “digital gold.” Fiat-backed currencies, as well as stablecoins and central bank digital currencies, represent another class.
On Thursday, US fintech giant Visa Inc (NYSE: V) released its earnings report for its Q1 in the 2021 fiscal year and conducted a Q1 earnings call, where its CEO Alfred Kelly spoke on the company’s plans regarding cryptocurrencies. According to Kelly, the company is planning to make cryptos more “safe, useful, and applicable” and add them to its payments network.
Alfred Kelly stated:
“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”
He further added:
“Today, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including coin-based Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda. These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials. The next leading network has a fraction of that. It goes without saying to the extent specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.”
During the earnings call, Kelly also explained that Visa sees two classes of digital assets. New assets, like Bitcoin (BTC), are “digital gold.” Fiat-backed currencies, as well as stablecoins and central bank digital currencies, represent another class. As Kelly said, they are “an emerging payments innovation that could have the potential to be used for global commerce.”
As for the nearest plans, Visa is intending to work with wallets and exchanges to enable its users to buy cryptocurrencies. It also wants to allow cashing out and making fiat purchases with crypto.
Q1 2021 Results
For the first quarter of 2021, Visa reported an Earning Per Share (EPS) of $1.42 on revenue of $5.69 billion as against the expected drop in the EPS to the tune of 13% to $1.27. Besides, Visa saw a 5% growth in its services revenue to $2.68 billion in Q1. It also reported a 6% boost in its data processing revenue to $3.03 billion. However, the earnings report showed a decline in the international transaction revenue by 28% to $1.45 billion.
As Visa pointed out, its Q1 results demonstrate the company’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. In some regions and countries, its operations are recovering fast, while others are holding steady. Its cross-border travel volume, both card-present and card-not-present, is still down almost 70% relative to where it might have been at this point. However, in general, the quarter was stronger than expected.