Visa is Experimenting USDC Stablecoin Payments on the Ethereum Network
Popular card provider and multinational financial services corporation, Visa, has begun testing how to accept payments and make payments on the Ethereum network via the USDC stablecoin. Cuy Sheffield, Vice President of Visa and Head of Crypto at Visa, highlighted at the StarkWare Sessions 2023 event in Tel Aviv, that the transactions are “high-value contract payments.” Sheffield also added that the company has been “testing how to actually accept settlement payments from issuers in USDC starting on Ethereum and paying out in USDC on Ethereum.”
Visa Intends to Leverage Blockchain For Payments
Visa has recently been more active in its quest to incorporate blockchain technology into its existing network to make money transfers faster. The company started exploring options to allow automatic payments through Ethereum wallets a few months ago. Visa’s chief executive officer, Alfred F. Kelly, also said back in January that the company believes stablecoins and CBDCs could play a meaningful role in the payments division.
To achieve this, Visa is currently investing more in the use of “digital assets and fiat currencies for global settlements.” The CEO added: “That’s been one of the areas where we want to build muscle memory. In the same way that we can convert between dollars in euros on a cross-border transaction, we should be able to convert between digital tokenized dollars and traditional dollars.” Additionally, Visa has also employed a team of researchers and engineers who are working to evaluate the fundamentals of various blockchains. Focus areas include security, scalability, interoperability, privacy, and use cases of different protocols.
Visa still uses SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), a non-profit cooperative society that facilitates cross-border transactions between over 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries. Despite SWIFT’s huge payment network, Sheffield expressed its inability to complete the required transactions and the reason for introducing the stablecoin payment method. He said, “we’ve adjusted every point of Swift so we can’t move money as often as we’d like because these networks have a number of limitations. So, we were doing experiments, we made it public. We are testing how to actually accept settlement payments (with stablecoins).”
The development has been met mostly with positive sentiment, with a recent tweet from StarkNet Ecosystem, accrediting the undertaking by Sheffield and Visa to be “huge.”