Payments giant Visa is launching a global crypto consulting and advisory service to help its banking clients navigate the digital-assets world.

According to Visa, the time is right to push the case for the digital economy as it takes greater hold in the popular consciousness. In fact, the firm’s latest research suggests that awareness of crypto among financial decision makers surveyed is “near universal at 94 per cent around the world”.

In an announcement today, Visa said that its new crypto advisory service will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers and other firms on enabling and launching crypto rewards plans, exploring non-fungible tokens (NFTs), developing wallets for central bank digital currencies and more.

“We’ve seen a material shift in our clients’ mindset in the last year, from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto, to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Claudio Di Nella, Head, Visa Consulting & Analytics, Europe.

More Visa crypto moves

The new cryptocurrency consulting service is simply the latest in Visa’s delve into the digital assets industry:

• In October, the payments behemoth announced it was launching an NFT support program to help artists get involved in the digital art space.

• Earlier that month Visa revealed it’s working on an interoperable, cross-blockchain crypto and fiat payments solution it refers to as a “universal adapter“.

• In August, the company surprised everybody by purchasing a CryptoPunk (#7610) for roughly US$150,000. Shortly after, the wallet holding that punk was relentlessly spammed by the crypto community with a raft of largely worthless NFTs, including pixelated dick pics.

 

Visa is just one of many payments processing firms making big moves into crypto this year, including Mastercard and PayPal.

 

Also in the institutional-adoption news… Gemini and Colombia

The Winklevoss-twins-owned crypto exchange Gemini has announced it will be expanding into Latin America through a collaboration with Colombia’s largest bank, Bancolombia.

The partnership will take effect on December 14, and will enable customers from Bancolombia to trade four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

This is the second major bank that Gemini has teamed up with just recently, having announced a major partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in November, which will see the CBA provide Aussie customers with access to 10 leading cryptos.