Visa boss: let’s push hard on CBDCs

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Valentina Vitali
Valentina Vitali
FXC Intelligence Research Analyst
Valentina is a Research Analyst at FXC Intelligence, the data sister company of FXcompared. Valentina is passionate about payments and fintech. Valentin enjoys analysing money transfer companies and… Read more
  • Al Kelly, who heads up Visa, devoted some of his remarks at the firm’s Q2 earnings call to discuss the potentially transformational offer of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
  • He said that they held the potential to bring the financially excluded further into the fold, and separated them as a concept from bitcoin – which he described as something that individuals hold, like “digital gold”.
  • However, he also said that it was essential that customers and users were able to trust CBDCs – saying that “they’re going to have to both be secure in the minds of consumers”.

The chief executive officer of one of the world’s most prominent financial services firms has shared more details about his company’s plans to make the most of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Al Kelly, who heads up Visa, made the comments at the company’s recent earnings call.

Visa has already established a strong connection with central banks around the world to help them get plans in place for their CBDCs, which can be used for online money transfers and other purposes.

The company is also calling for the creation of partnerships between such banks and private companies.

To that end, the company has submitted a patent application giving it the right to offer technology that builds links between these organisations.

In the earnings call, which covered Q2 2021, Kelly was asked by an analyst to share his thoughts on crypto in more detail.

He began by drawing a distinction – as he sees it – between the sorts of digital assets that are owned by individuals, such as bitcoin, and then digital currencies like those proposed for CBDCs.

Bitcoin and the like, he said, “are not used much in the former payments. We kind of think of them as the digital gold.”

However, “digital currencies, including Central Bank digital currencies and stablecoins that are directly backed by existing fiat currencies” are “definitely emerging as a payment option,” he claimed.

“I would say that this is a space that we are leaning into in a very, very big way,” he added.

He went on to say that CBDCs were particularly valuable in certain places around the world.

“Central bank digital currency is being explored in many nations. And I think it could end up being – prove to be quite valuable in countries where the infrastructure to distribute cash is either unavailable or limited,” he said.

He also emphasised the fact that CBDCs held the potential to be transformative when it comes to financial inclusion.

He also sounded a warning note about security.

“For these central bank digital currencies, to have value, they’re going to have to both be secure in the minds of consumers,” he said.

Visa is just one of many firms operating in the international money transfers sector at the moment – to discover more about what’s happening in the payments world, why not visit our reviews section and check out some of the information there?


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