VISA, one of the largest payment companies in the world, has started testing payments with stablecoins on its platform. Cuy Sheffield, head of VISA’s crypto division, announced the development at StarkWare Sessions 2023.
Cuy Sheffield, head of VISA’s crypto division, said in a speech at StarkWare Sessions 2023 that the company has built a “muscle memory” for payments that allows customers to convert cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies on the platform. Adding that the company is currently testing large-value payments, Sheffield said:
“We are testing how to accept USDC settlement payments from issuers that start in Ethereum and pay in USDC on Ethereum. So, these are great value settlement payments.”
The payment giant was already known to be working on Ethereum integration to facilitate automatic payments. It also invests heavily in global conversions and payments between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. This is an area where the company is keen to build a “muscle memory”. Sheffield believes the VISA platform should be able to convert between tokenized dollars like traditional US dollars and stablecoins, just as US dollars and euros can convert. If this happens, stablecoin usage for global payments using the payment network could increase drastically. This could also lead to mass adoption of stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies.
According to the latest developments, VISA plans to incorporate Blockchain technology into its existing network. However, all deals still take place in the SWIFT system, a non-profit association society created by bankers in Europe. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Sheffield said:
“We set everything up via SWIFT, so we can’t move money as often as we want because there are a number of limitations that exist in these networks. That’s why we’re running tests and making it public. We’re testing how to actually accept settlement payments with stablecoins.”
VISA believes that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can play a meaningful role in the global payments environment of the future. Sheffield added that VISA is working to extract value from existing bank channels and rebuild it on top of Blockchain channels using stable boards.