Visa enables crypto withdrawals on debit cards in 145 countries

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Global payment giant Visa is doubling down on cryptocurrency adoption by enabling another method to exchange crypto to fiat currencies without using a centralized exchange.

Visa has partnered with the Web3 infrastructure provider Transak to introduce cryptocurrency withdrawals and payments through the Visa Direct solution, the firms announced on Jan. 30.

The new integration allows users to withdraw cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) directly from a wallet like MetaMask to a Visa debit card. Available immediately, the integration enables one to exchange crypto to fiat and pay at 130 million merchant locations where Visa is accepted.

“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,” Visa Direct’s North America Head Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore said.

The collaboration significantly expands the number of options to convert crypto into fiat currencies and brings a big milestone in bridging the crypto and traditional finance worlds, Transak’s marketing head and investor relations lead Harshit Gangwar noted.

The partnership allows users from 145 countries to directly convert at least 40 cryptocurrencies to fiat without relying on centralized exchanges. Some of the supported countries include jurisdictions like ​​Cyprus, Malta, Singapore, Turkey, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates, according to Transak’s global coverage page.

“This is a major step towards mainstream acceptance and utilization of cryptocurrencies,” Gangwar said, highlighting a more accessible and convenient nature of the transactions enabled by the integration.

According to Gangwar, the collaboration brings significant benefits to users of decentralized platforms and wallets like the MetaMask, Ledger, Trust Wallet and others. “MetaMask users can now effortlessly off-ramp directly from their wallet to the Visa card, which enhances the usability and practicality of their digital assets,” he noted.

Related: Ethereum users can now stake an entire validator directly from MetaMask

According to MetaMask’s senior product manager Lorenzo Santos, the collaboration between Visa and Transak indeed enables a significant feature for MetaMask users. He said:

“Transak’s integration with Visa opens new horizons for MetaMask users globally, providing more flexibility in smooth cryptocurrency to fiat conversions.”

According to Transak’s Gangwar, the platform is involved in the integration as it holds licenses in multiple jurisdictions and ensures that the Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering tech is in place. This enables Transak to verify the user and legally enable such transactions, the exec added.

One of the world’s largest companies in the payments industry, Visa has been actively exploring the use cases of cryptocurrency in recent years. In 2020, Visa made a major move into crypto, by partnering with the blockchain firm Circle to support the USDC (USDC) stablecoin on certain Visa cards. In September 2023, Visa rolled out support for USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain as it continued to expand the support of the stablecoin.

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