Payment solutions provider Visa will collaborate with crypto-currency exchange FTX to offer crypto-currency debit cards. According to reports, FTX users in 40 countries, including Latin America, Asia and Europe, can choose to link these cards to their FTX crypto investment accounts.
Thereafter, they can spend on purchases directly from their digital currency accounts using these cards. As FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried explained in a statement:
“This card allows users to use their FTX crypto balances 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, securely and without administrative or processing fees.”
The Visa and FTX crypto debit card initiative is a strong show of faith by Visa in the current climate of the crypto space. The e-funds facilitator believes that crypto investors may still be open to spending their tokens amidst a sustained price decline.
Speaking on the debit card and falling crypto currency prices, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu said, “even though values have fallen, there is still sustained interest in crypto-currencies.“
In addition, Prabhu, who was participating in a telephone media session, also added:
“We don’t have a position as a company on what the value of crypto-currencies should be, or if it’s a good thing in the long run – as long as people have things they want to buy, we want to facilitate it.”
This development represents Visa’s latest foray into the crypto space. It joins an already impressive portfolio of more than 70 crypto partnerships by the payments company. Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, expressed his excitement about partnering with FTX. According to him, crypto will have a “lasting impact on the future of financial services and money movement.“
Visa-FTX debit cards to be launched in Latin America
Latin American countries will be FTX’s first area of focus for deployment, as the region is an emerging crypto market. Next, the leading crypto exchange will look to penetrate European states with its crypto debit cards, before taking on Asia next year.
FTX has already opened a waiting list on its website for customers interested in its Visa crypto-currency debit cards. The Bahamas-based digital currency exchange also saw its native FTT token jump 7 percent after Visa’s announcement.
According to Bankman-Fried, enabling crypto card payments is key to growing the industry beyond its current scope of speculation. In addition, the FTX CEO also said that introducing a common way to spend crypto-currencies on purchases moves the industry beyond the status of a store of value. According to him, crypto-currency debit cards can disrupt traditional payment networks.
On the other hand, Bankman-Fried also acknowledges the irony of the growing partnerships between crypto-currency platforms and more traditional financial solutions providers. As he says, crypto-currencies were initially designed to circumvent the constraints posed by banks and intermediaries. However, some of these banks and payment companies are now adopting his technology and leveraging it for their own use. For example, payment platforms like Visa are partnering with FTX to increase the volume of payments and transactions in their database.
FTX first announced plans to launch a dedicated debit card last January. The announcement came after rival Coinbase launched its own version of crypto-currency debit cards last summer. However, it’s not yet clear if FTX will also attach rewards for spending via the card like Coinbase does.