Payments giant Visa has revealed in its recent earnings call that customers made $2.5 billion in payments using its cryptocurrency-linked cards in its fiscal first quarter of the year. The figure represents 70% of the company’s crypto volume for all of fiscal 2021.

According to CNBC, Visa’s CFO Vasant Prabhu noted that the figure signals that “consumers see utility in having a Visa card linked to an account at a crypto platform,” and that they see value in “being able to access that liquidity, to fund purchases and manage expenses.”

The company’s CEO, Al Kelly, said on the earnings call:

We will continue to lean into the crypto space and our strategy is to be a key partner to provide the connectivity, scale, consumer value proposition, reliability and security that is needed for crypto offerings to continue to grow

As CryptoGlobe reported, at the end of last year Visa had partnered with more than 60 cryptocurrency platforms to allow consumers to make payments with digital assets. That figure has now grown to surpass 65, with its partners including Coinbase, Circle, and crypto lender BlockFi.

Speaking to the news outlet, Prabhu added that Visa doesn’t see the volume concentrated in a specific merchant vertical, but instead people are using their crypto-linked cards to spend in numerous ways. The company detailed in its earnings call that merchants accepting cryptocurrency payments are now close to 100 million.

Visa has notably been moving deeper into the cryptocurrency space with time. Late last year, it announced it completed the acquisition of former Ripple partner Currencycloud, a global platform that allows banks and fintech firms to provide foreign exchange solutions for cross-border transactions.

To Visa, cryptocurrency rewards are a “significant part of the value proposition for many of these card programs,” specifically for customers who are new to the cryptocurrency space. The firm clarified it has no plans to hold cryptocurrency on its balance sheet, although it has created a cryptocurrency consulting service that has invested in crypto platforms.

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