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In an earnings call on Thursday, Visa stated that its customers made $2.5 billion in payments using its crypto-linked cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022. (Visa defines the quarter ending December 31 as its first quarter of the new year.) That’s over 70% of all crypto-card volume throughout fiscal 2021, signalling increased adoption of digital asset payments.
Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu expressed optimism over the development in an interview with CNBC. “To us, this signals that consumers see utility in having a Visa card linked to an account at a crypto platform,” he said, citing an instant and seamless ability to manage purchases and fund payments.
Within the first half of 2021, only $1 billion had been spent in crypto using Visa’s cards. While comparatively small now, that’s still a fraction of the crypto spending volume it processed in 2019—though CNBC reported in July that Visa did not release exact numbers for that time.
Crypto-linked cards allow customers to spend crypto anywhere that accepts Visa, without merchants having to be familiar with the asset class at all. They receive transactions in fiat like typical Visa transactions, while the payment processor handles conversions on the back end.
“People are using their crypto-linked cards to spend in a variety of ways—retail goods and services, restaurants, travel,” Prabhu told CNBC. “They’re increasingly being treated like a general purpose account.”
The company also announced that it had expanded its number of partnerships for facilitating the service from 54 to over 65. These include crypto companies like , Circle, and BlockFi.
Visa has demonstrated a broad interest in expanding the crypto industry and its adoption as a whole. In December, the company launched crypto-consultation services for its clients to get financial institutions involved with the asset class.
The payments giant also recently partnered with artist Micash Johnson to educate artists on how NFTs can help monetize their art and advance their careers.