Payment giant Visa reported a surge of 47% in overseas spending in the fiscal third quarter, surpassing estimates. Overseas spending is a key metric as such transactions are more lucrative. Online cross-border spending, excluding travel, also jumped 56% from 2019 in Q3, representing a 12 points increase from the second quarter. Most of this gain came from cryptocurrency purchases. Visa reported a spike in cross-border purchases from mid-April through the end of May. “We have seen more active cards and more spend per card in cryptocurrency purchases,” said Vasant Prabhu, Vice Chairman, and Chief Financial Officer. But Visa is now warning that the frenzy in cryptocurrencies might be slowing down as they are falling back to pre-April levels but “still running at a level that is higher than it was six months ago.” This trend may offset the company’s broader cross-spending growth in terms of benefit from service fee recognition lag and the cross-border travel recovery. During the earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2021, Chairman and CEO Al Kelly also shared that their partnership with cryptocurrency companies; FTX, Tala, and CoinZoom being the new ones, drove more than $1 billion in payments volume, which he said: “represents a significant engine of growth.”
Forging the future of cryptocurrency
Visa’s competitor Mastercard meanwhile, has launched a Start Path startup program dedicated to supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency companies. “From creating a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to building an air-gapped cold vault to enabling new sustainable digital assets,” Mastercard will enable seven global crypto and digital assets startups to join its award-winning Start Path program to access partnership opportunities, insights, and tools to grow. Institutional crypto custody platforms GK8, Domain Money, NFT marketplace Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold are the startups joining the program. “Part of our role is to forge the future of cryptocurrency, and we’re doing that by bridging mainstream financial principles with digital assets innovations,” said Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech, which has been supporting over 250 startups since 2014.