Visa, a global payments leader, has unveiled its latest move to modernize cross-border money transfers. The company is extending its stablecoin settlement capabilities to the high-performing Solana blockchain and partnering with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei.
Visa has already initiated live pilots with issuers and acquirers, successfully moving millions of USDC (a stablecoin) between its partners over the Solana and Ethereum blockchain networks. These transactions settle fiat-denominated payments authorized over VisaNet.
When consumers use Visa cards at the millions of Visa-accepting merchants worldwide, they enjoy the convenience of nearly instant payment authorizations. However, what’s hidden behind the scenes is the movement of funds between the cardholder’s bank (the issuer) and the merchant’s bank (the acquirer). Visa’s treasury and settlement systems facilitate the clearing, settlement, and transfer of billions in transactions daily, ensuring that the correct amount in the preferred currency reaches the acquirer from the issuer. This intricate process operates seamlessly across nearly 15,000 financial institutions and encompasses over 25 global currencies.
Visa is taking advantage of stablecoins like USDC and blockchain networks such as Solana and Ethereum to enhance the speed of cross-border settlements. This initiative offers Visa clients a modern solution for sending and receiving funds through Visa’s treasury.
Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, emphasized their commitment to staying at the forefront of digital currency and blockchain innovation. By harnessing these technologies, Visa aims to enhance the efficiency of money movement.
Visa’s journey into stablecoin settlements began with testing USDC within its treasury operations in 2021. This led to a successful pilot with Crypto.com, where Visa became one of the first major payment networks to explore stablecoin settlements from the issuance side. This partnership allowed Crypto.com to use USDC to fulfill settlement obligations for Visa cards in Australia, eliminating the need for lengthy currency conversion processes and costly international wire transfers. The success of this pilot paved the way for further innovation in payments, commerce, and financial applications.
With Visa’s new settlement options, they can now send funds directly to acquirers like Worldpay and Nuvei, reducing settlement times for their merchants. These global acquirers serve a diverse range of merchants, including those involved in blockchain, cryptocurrency, games, and NFT marketplaces. Many of these businesses prefer receiving stablecoins instead of traditional fiat currencies for card payments. Visa can manage settlement payouts in USDC via its Circle account to Worldpay and Nuvei, who can subsequently distribute these payments to their end merchants.
Visa is also expanding its capabilities to support the Solana blockchain network. This decision arises from the growing demand for high-performance blockchains that can facilitate fast and cost-effective stablecoin transactions. Solana’s impressive features, including 400-millisecond block times, an average of 400 transactions per second, and the capacity to handle over 2,000 transactions per second during peak demand, make it an ideal choice for Visa.
In its pursuit of innovation in the digital financial landscape, Visa is forming new partnerships and embracing the potential of digital currencies. The collaboration with Worldpay and Nuvei signifies a significant step in this direction. These partnerships not only enhance Visa’s internal treasury operations but also offer more flexible funding options to global merchants in a rapidly evolving commerce landscape.
1/ We are excited to announce that Visa has expanded our stablecoin settlement capabilities to merchant acquirers launching pilots with @Worldpay_Global and @Nuvei utilizing the Solana blockchainhttps://t.co/E0TjMO5xiH
— Cuy Sheffield (@cuysheffield) September 5, 2023
Jim Johnson, President of Worldpay Merchant Solutions at FIS, highlighted how Visa’s USDC settlement capability allows Worldpay to bring more treasury operations in-house, providing merchants with diverse funding options. Philip Fayer, Chair and CEO of Nuvei, emphasized the benefits of stablecoins like USDC for businesses worldwide and expressed excitement about working with Visa to bring these capabilities to their partners.
In summary, Visa’s expansion into stablecoin settlements and blockchain networks like Solana reflects its commitment to staying at the forefront of digital currency and blockchain innovation. These developments are poised to revolutionize cross-border money movement and offer greater flexibility and efficiency in global transactions. Visa continues to play a pivotal role in connecting the world through innovative, secure, and convenient payment solutions. For more information about Visa, visit Visa.com.