In brief

  • Visa has selected First Boulevard as a partner for its new crypto API program.
  • The neobank's mission is to promote wealth in the Black community.
  • As part of the pilot, customers will have the chance to buy and sell Bitcoin.

Visa has selected First Boulevard—a neobank focused on financial empowerment in the Black community—as a partner for a new crypto API program anticipated to launch this year.

First Boulevard will pilot a new suite of Visa’s crypto APIs, which will allow the neobank’s customers to purchase, custody and trade digital assets held by digital asset bank Anchorage. The partnership promises to help First Boulevard close the financial gap in the Black community. 

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa,” Jack Forestell, chief product officer at Visa, said, in an announcement.

As part of the pilot program, Visa intends for First Boulevard to connect to infrastructure provided by Anchorage that will allow the bank’s customers the chance to buy and sell Bitcoin. 

“With this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients by providing an easy bridge to crypto assets and blockchain networks,” Forestell added. 

First Boulevard also championed the partnership with Visa, describing cryptocurrency as a means to help further the bank’s mission. 

“The First Boulevard mission is to help Black America build wealth,” said Donald Hawkins, CEO of First Boulevard, adding, “We are thrilled to partner with the leader in digital payments, Visa, and leverage their crypto APIs to provide another channel for the Black community to access crypto.” 

The neobank is also set to launch a First Boulevard Visa debit card, which offers features that include a cash back program and financial education tools. 

“Visa’s crypto APIs program is a significant step forward both for the proliferation of crypto as an asset class, and for accessibility and inclusion in payments and financial services,” said Diogo Monica, president and co-founder at Anchorage.