Payment processing behemoth Visa partnered with Circle Internet Financial, the firm behind the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin.
According to a Dec. 2 Forbes report, while Visa itself won’t custody the stablecoin, the firm will start collaborating with Circle to help credit card issuers integrate the USD Coin into their platforms and send and receive USDC payments. Visa head of cryptoprocessor Cuy Sheffield said:
“We continue to think of Visa as a network of networks. […] Blockchain networks and stablecoins, like USDC, are just additional networks. So we think that there’s a significant value that Visa can provide to our clients, enabling them to access them and enabling them to spend at our merchants.”
Businesses will be able to send international USDC payments to any Visa-supported business. Still, before the funds can be spent they will need to be converted to fiat currency. USDC is back one to one with a U.S. dollar reserve, Circle says.
Sheffield said that the integration “will significantly increase the utility that USDC can have for Circle’s business clients.” He expects Visa to issue a card with the new features sometime next year. He said:
“This will be the first corporate card that will allow businesses to be able to spend a balance of USDC.”
This is just the latest announcement regarding Circle’s stablecoin. As Modern Consensus reported in late October, USD Coin launched on Solana as its fourth blockchain after first launching on Ethereum and then joining the Stellar and Algorand networks.
Visa is playing an increasingly important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As Modern Consensus reported in late October, the payment processor authorized crypto exchange Coinbase to issue Visa crypto cards directly to customers on its own.
Visa’s appetite for expansion has not always been met with enthusiasm. Earlier this month The Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit asking a court to block the firm’s pending acquisition of fintech company Plaid, which offers services used by a number of cryptocurrency exchanges including Coinbase, as well as more than 11,000 banks.
And a year ago, Visa and Mastercard were essentially strong-armed into quitting Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project by congressional threats of extra regulatory scrutiny across all their business lines.