Visa is looking to increase its foothold in the stablecoin space after announcing it is working on the Solana blockchain to tap into digital currencies, bolstering its cross-border transaction capabilities. 

Building upon its pre-existing work on stablecoins, moving millions of USDC – one of the world’s most popular stablecoins – on the Ethereum blockchain, Visa is now looking to utilise them to settle fiat-denominated payments. 

Visa cardholders will be able to make a typical purchase at a Visa-enabled merchant location across the globe but be cleared, settled and moved a lot more efficiently, supporting up to 25 global currencies. 

Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, said: “By leveraging stablecoins like USDC and global blockchain networks like Solana and Ethereum, we’re helping to improve the speed of cross-border settlement and providing a modern option for clients to easily send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury. 

“Visa is committed to being on the forefront of digital currency and blockchain innovation and leveraging these new technologies to help improve the way we move money.”

Whilst not as committed as PayPal releasing its own native stablecoin, Visa began to ramp up its efforts in the digital currency space ever since beginning to test how USDC could be used to enhance its treasury operations back in 2021. 

This led to the successful launch of a pilot leveraging USDC on the Ethereum blockchain to receive payments from crypto exchange for cross-border volume on live card programmes in Australia. 

Visa acknowledged that cross-border transactions made on before the pilot launch took days before they could be settled. The pilot revealed that this process significantly reduced the time and complexity of global wire transfers. 

Now, in its latest step, Visa will work with acquirers such as Worldpay and Nuvei to test on-chain transactions on the Solana network to help speed up the settlement process time for merchants across the globe. 

Philip Fayer, CEO of Nuvei, commented: “Stablecoins like USDC are cutting-edge payments technology that can enable online businesses around the world to accelerate growth. 

“Optimising cross-border transactions is only one use case where stablecoins can benefit businesses. As a leading global payments company, we are constantly focused on innovation, and we’re excited to work with Visa to bring these capabilities to our partners.”