Visa expands its stablecoin settlement capabilities to the Solana blockchain, partnering with Worldpay and Nuvei to streamline fiat-denominated payment settlements. This move marks Visa as a pioneer in adopting blockchain technology and leveraging USDC to enhance cross-border transactions and payments.
5 September 2023 – Visa, a global leader in payment solutions, has taken a significant step toward modernizing cross-border money transfers by expanding its stablecoin settlement capabilities to the high-performance Solana blockchain. Collaborating with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei, Visa aims to streamline and enhance the settlement of fiat-denominated payments authorized over VisaNet.
In an era where Visa cardholders enjoy the convenience of near-instant payment authorizations at millions of merchant locations worldwide, the behind-the-scenes complexity of moving funds between issuing banks and acquiring banks often goes unnoticed. Visa’s treasury and settlement systems, however, play a crucial role in facilitating this process, managing the clearing, settlement, and movement of billions of transactions daily across nearly 15,000 financial institutions and over 25 global currencies.
Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, emphasized the company’s commitment to advancing digital currency and blockchain innovation, leveraging stablecoins such as USDC (USD Coin) and leading blockchain networks like Solana and Ethereum. By adopting these technologies, Visa aims to enhance the speed of cross-border settlement and provide a modernized solution for clients to send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury.
Visa’s journey into stablecoin settlement began in 2021 when it initiated tests involving USDC within its treasury operations. This experimentation led to a groundbreaking pilot with Crypto.com, positioning Visa as one of the first major payment networks to explore stablecoin settlement from the issuer’s perspective. The success of this pilot enabled Crypto.com to employ USDC to fulfill settlement obligations on Visa cards in Australia, drastically reducing the time and complexity associated with international wire transfers.
Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder and CEO of Circle, the company behind USDC, expressed excitement about Visa and its partners’ contributions to blockchain innovation. He underscored the significance of combining USDC with Visa’s innovative capabilities, opening doors to transformative possibilities in payments, commerce, and financial applications.
With these recent developments, Visa extends its capabilities from issuing partners to acquirer partners, such as Worldpay and Nuvei. These global acquirers cater to a diverse range of merchants, including those engaged in blockchain and crypto-related activities. With the option to receive stablecoins like USDC instead of traditional fiat currencies, Visa empowers Worldpay and Nuvei to expedite settlement times for their merchants, including on-ramp providers, gaming platforms, NFT marketplaces, and more.
In line with its commitment to innovation and forward-thinking, Visa has also embraced the high-performance Solana blockchain. Recognizing the demand for faster and more cost-effective stablecoin transfers, Visa now offers support for Solana as a blockchain option for sending and receiving USDC settlement payments. This move establishes Visa as one of the first major payment companies to leverage Solana for live settlement payments, benefiting from Solana’s impressive capabilities, including 400-millisecond block times and a transaction throughput that can surge to over 2,000 transactions per second.
As Visa explores new partnerships and embraces the potential of digital currencies, its collaboration with Worldpay and Nuvei signifies a significant stride toward a more digital and interconnected financial landscape. The expansion of USDC settlement capabilities enables greater flexibility for merchants and businesses operating in today’s rapidly evolving commerce ecosystem.
Jim Johnson, President of Worldpay Merchant Solutions at FIS, commented on Visa’s USDC settlement capability, highlighting its potential to diversify funding options and increase flexibility for global merchants. Meanwhile, Philip Fayer, Chair and CEO of Nuvei, recognized the groundbreaking nature of stablecoins like USDC in enhancing cross-border transactions and fostering business growth.
Visa remains at the forefront of financial innovation, and its commitment to leveraging blockchain technology and stablecoins showcases its dedication to evolving payment systems for the benefit of businesses and consumers worldwide.