There is no doubt that cryptocurrency is becoming wildly popular with its users. One interesting benefit is in the underbanked and migrant working demographic who are finding cryptocurrency remittances to become the preferred way to send money across borders as it is cheaper and faster than traditional financial services. Encouraging this utility of cryptocurrency is Visa, through a recent partnership with emerging markets digital financial services provider Tala. The goal of the partnership is to facilitate further accessibility to cryptocurrency for underbanked consumers.
Since becoming the first major payments network to accept settlement of transactions ins USD Coin (USDC), the stable coin backed by the US dollar, Visa has continued its path to enabling crypto-to-fiat transactions. Partnering with Santa-Monica based Tala, Visa will allow the fintech to offer payment cards linked to its digital wallet. Under this offering, customers will have the ability to spend against their USDC balance across 70 million Visa compatible merchants worldwide. The collaboration will also work with Circle, one of the Centre Consortium’s founding members, and the Stellar Development Foundation that oversees the XLM cryptocurrency. It’s through this extended collaboration that Tala’s consumers will gain access to USDC in Tala’s digital wallet.
Tala’s customers will also be able to store their assets, enjoy easy cross-border transfer, and crypto-fiat exchange functionalities through this partnership. Tala was tapped for this important collaboration after Visa was sufficiently impressed by the 7-year-old startup’s success in providing over $2 billion in credit to over 6 million customers throughout developing regions. Thanks to Tala, customers across India, Kenya, Mexico, and the Philippines have received access to essential micro loans through its smartphone app regardless of their credit history. To date, Tala has raised over $200 million in venture capital to grow its company.
Speaking on this collaboration, Tala’s CEO and founder Shivani Siroya said, “Tala has been a leader in leveraging data and next generation mobile technology to solve the seemingly intractable problem of financial inclusion. Digital currencies have tremendous potential to radically open financial access and put more control directly into the hands of underbanked and underestimated people.” Indeed, this collaboration will create a truly useful pathway for USDC which has seen more than 1,000% year-over-year growth. The collaboration will tap further into the currency’s immense potential to aid an estimated 3 billion people globally who are poorly served by the formal economy.