Crypto frenzy may be winding down, Visa CFO says

This spring, crypto-related transactions using Visa were a significant boost to the company’s cross-border volume, although this effect is beginning to wane.

This year has seen unprecedented growth in the crypto markets, with lucrative knock-on effects for third parties like Visa. This, however, may already be beginning to dwindle, according to the company’s senior executives.

The payments giant’s newly released financial results for fiscal Q3 2021 show bullish figures for cross-border and overseas transactions — a key metric for analysts on the lookout for early signals of pandemic recovery.

Earlier this month, Visa revealed that its crypto-enabled cards had processed more than $1 billion in total spending for H1 2021, registering an impact on overseas volume as crypto users deposited funds into crypto platforms across various jurisdictions. These effects are still visible in the company’s latest results for Q3, with the report indicating that:

“Cross-border volume excluding transactions within Europe, which drive our international transaction revenues, increased 53% on a constant-dollar basis for the three months ended June 30, 2021. Total cross-border volume on a constant-dollar basis increased 47% in the quarter.” 

In a fresh interview, however, Visa chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu said that much of the crypto-driven momentum behind higher cross-border spending was in fact limited to the first two months of the quarter.

Highlighting the spike in crypto purchases in April and May, Prabhu noted that it had begun to fall back by June. Given the faltering return to international travel, Prabhu warned that the cross-border volume could be poised to decline without being buoyed up by a booming crypto market.

Related: Altcoin roundup: Crypto credit cards could be the missing link to mass adoption

The overall picture for the past quarter shows that Visa drew in significant revenues from its overseas transaction processing, which is significantly more lucrative for the firm than intra-national spending. Overall, the company reported a 34% year-on-year increase in payments using its cards — keeping in mind that much of the globe was under strict lockdowns last year. The company has also reported net revenues of $6.1 billion for Q3 2021, an increase of 27%, outstripping the $5.86 billion average of analysts’ estimates. 

Among recent deals, the report notes Visa’s recent signature of a definitive agreement to acquire Currencycloud, a cross-border payments platform that supports roughly 500 banking and technology clients across over 180 countries. Currencycloud has recently entered a partnership with Ripple, the company behind XRP, to jointly explore new cross-border transactions mechanisms. 

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