Tala, a company providing financial services to communities without access to banks, has announced a new partnership with Visa around payments through USD Coin.
USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin—a type of cryptocurrency that’s intended to match the value of a fiat currency (in this case, the US dollar). In theory, stablecoins let you keep your money in crypto without having to deal with the volatility of assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Tala also says it’s partnered with Circle and Stellar, and plans to launch a digital wallet for USDC through its app. Circle is the company behind USDC, and Stellar operates one of the blockchains it runs on.
A press release notes that the wallet could potentially be connected to a kind of debit card, offered through Visa, which could give customers “a seamless way to spend against their USDC balance at any of the 70 million merchants worldwide that accept Visa.” That isn’t to say they could actually pay in USDC—as with other crypto debit cards, the crypto would be converted to fiat money at the moment of purchase.
As of now, the company hasn’t announced any concrete plans to issue a card. A Visa spokesperson told Decrypt that “Tala isn’t announcing or launching a card program just yet, but the vision underpinning the agreement is to enable Tala customers to receive USDC, for example from a family overseas, directly to their Tala wallet.”
“They could store their USDC in their Tala wallet as a form of savings, or seamlessly spend it through a linked Visa card,” she added.
Visa has been getting increasingly involved with Circle and USDC over the past few months; the companies announced a formal partnership in December of last year, and have since been toying with USDC-settled transactions on Visa’s payment network.
Late last month, Visa CEO Al Kelly said the company is “leaning into [crypto] in a very, very big way.”
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