Visa Snubs Centralised Exchanges, Enabling Direct Crypto Withdrawals
Leading global payment provider Visa has partnered with US- based crypto infrastructure company Transak to create a direct-to-card crypto-to-fiat off-ramp. The move will let users of wallets like MetaMask and Trust Wallet directly convert their crypto holdings to fiat on their Visa debit card—bypassing centralised crypto exchanges entirely.
According to Transak, the new ‘Visa Direct’ off-ramp will allow crypto holders in over 145 countries, including Australia, to convert more than 40 supported cryptocurrencies directly into local fiat currencies in under 30 minutes.
Visa Direct Off-ramp A Significant Milestone
One of the weak points of the crypto space has always been the conversion of crypto back into fiat when taking profits.
Often, users have held profits in stablecoins for long periods, limiting their options for spending profits in the fiat economy. People who want to use their profits as fiat have generally been required to send their crypto to centralised exchanges and then withdraw the fiat to their nominated bank account — a slow and frustrating process, further complicated by the harsh stance taken against crypto by many major banks.
This new off-ramp system enables real-time withdrawals, allowing users to access their profits in fiat almost immediately. The downside is obviously that the fiat is on a Visa debit card—not in the user’s bank account. Although with over 130 million merchants supporting Visa globally, it’s not a huge limitation.
Visa Direct’s North America Head Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore said:
By enabling real-time card withdrawals through Visa Direct, Transak is delivering a faster, simpler and more connected experience for its users — making it easier to convert crypto balances into fiat”
According to Transak, its technology is already integrated into over 350 Web3 wallets, including MetaMask, Ledger and Trust Wallet, meaning the Visa Direct off-ramp should be widely available in the short term, providing more convenient crypto to fiat withdrawals for a huge swathe of crypto holders:
We believe this partnership is an inflection point for Web3 as a whole. Now, millions across the globe have a straightforward way to cashout their digital asset holdings to their local currency in real-time and intuitively. They no longer have to walk the treacherous path of compliance uncertainty or face risks of fraud — Transak and Visa have them covered for over 40 cryptocurrencies.
Visa Is A TradFi Leader When It Comes To Crypto Adoption
Visa has been a leader among large TradFi institutions in its adoption of Web3 technology. In 2020 the global payments giant partnered with Circle, the firm behind the USDC stablecoin, to support USDC on select crypto-compatible Visa cards. Visa has since deepened its ties with USDC, announcing in September 2023 that it will support USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain.
Earlier this month Visa also announced the pilot of its crypto-based loyalty program which focuses on digital collectibles and providing immersive experiences in an attempt to reimagine what a reward program could be.