Visa CEO Alfred Kelly recently offered his thoughts on whether the credit card company might offer cryptocurrency payment processing in the near future. On Tuesday. CNBC interviewed Kelly during a conference of the National Retail Federation. Kelly suggested that digital currencies like Bitcoin are not money, and said that Visa will not process those types of transactions:
"We at Visa won't process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions."
Kelly also offered his take on cryptocurrency’s status in the broader economy, describing it as an investment commodity. As he told CNBC, “My take is that bitcoin is much more today a commodity that somebody could invest in; and honestly, somewhat of a speculative commodity.”
These latest comments come in the wake of Visa’s recent decision to suspend services to card issuer WaveCrest, due to alleged violations of the credit card company’s membership terms. That decision forced several Bitcoin debit card issuers to suspend services to their users.
Kelly's remarks are in line with Visa’s previously-stated position on crypto transactions, which NCF World covered in September 2017. In that report, Visa described its relationship with crypto card issuers:
“Visa has approved a small number of card programs that enable consumers to convert cryptocurrency to fiat currency, and to deposit those legal fiat funds into an account linked to a Visa debit or prepaid card.
“Visa is in no way involved in the conversion of cryptocurrency to fiat currency. This aspect of the program is performed by the issuer or its program manager through a cryptocurrency exchange.
“At no point does non-fiat currency flow through Visa network. Like any other Visa debit or prepaid card, these programs are managed by our issuer partners and must comply with all Visa rules and applicable laws.”