FTX taps Visa for crypto-linked debit cards

abdelaziz Fathi

Payments giant Visa has partnered with crypto exchange FTX to launch a debit card that makes it easy for consumers to convert and spend their cryptocurrencies at 80 million merchant locations worldwide.

This alliance should offer users with convenience, reduced costs, and faster transactions across Visa’s entire partner network. Visa revealed earlier this year that customers made $2.5 billion in payments with its crypto-linked cards in its first quarter of 2022. That was 70% of the company’s crypto volume for all of fiscal 2021.

FTX-branded Visa debit cards make it faster for cryptocurrency users to sell their digital assets and push those funds to their Visa credentials in real-time, with much of this work happening through its FastTrack program.

In addition, FTX has plans to scale its debit cards, which are linked directly to users’ accounts, to additional markets, allowing users to instantly start spending without waiting for the physical card to be in-hand. The product is already available in the United States and is now being rolled out globally in over 40 additional countries, including many across Latin America.

The next phase of the rollout for the FTX-branded Visa debit cards is expected in Europe before the end of the year, with additional regional launches planned for 2023.

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, commented on the news, “We’re excited to partner with one of the world’s largest payment networks to give our users the ability to use their crypto to fund purchases at millions of merchants around the globe. This card allows users to make use of their FTX crypto balances 24 hours a day, 365 days a year securely and with no administrative or processing fees.”

“At Visa, we believe that digital currencies will have a lasting impact on the future of financial services and money movement,” said Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa. “We’re excited to partner with leading crypto exchanges like FTX to bring more flexibility and ease-of-use to the way people use their crypto—unlocking the ability to use a crypto balance to fund purchases anywhere Visa is accepted.”

Collaborating with such a payment giant allows the crypto debit card issuer to access Visa’s growing partner network and introduce new crypto-friendly payment experiences. Moreover, it helps the firm promote the full range of its platform functionality to improve its payments and settlement services and act as an easy on and off-ramp from fiat to cryptocurrencies.

This should help FTX and similar providers cut out middleman costs and intricacies when it issues branded debit cards that enable users to spend their cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted.

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