CEO of global payment giant Visa Al Kelly stated that cryptocurrency does not pose a challenge to the company’s dominance in the payment sphere in the “short to medium-term,” in an interview on CNBC's Mad Money Oct. 25.
When asked if “crypto [is] a real challenge to Visa’s hegemony in this business,” Kelly told Mad Money host Jim Cramer that it was “certainly not in the short to medium-term in any way.”
According to Kelly, crypto needs to “move from being a commodity to really being a payment instrument” before it can become a real competitor to the conventional financial system.
Kelly added that the crypto market “needs to be a market” that can become “somewhat like a fiat currency” in order for Visa “to be comfortable” interacting with the asset.
Following the statement, Kelly claimed that if crypto “goes in [the] direction [of fiat]” Visa will also “move in that direction,” stating that the company wants to be in “the middle of every payment flow in the world,” and concluding:
“So if we have to go there, we will go there. But right now it [crypto] is more of a commodity than a payment vehicle.”
While competing global payment giant Mastercard just received a patent for a using fractional reserve banking principles to combine “blockchain currencies” and fiat for payments, Visa’s CEO pointed out that Visa is a “much bigger network” than Mastercard.
According to Kelly, Mastercard has to “try harder,” because they are “smaller than [Visa].”
Visa has also recently moved towards crypto’s underlying technology, blockchain, with their announcement this week of a blockchain-based identity system for cross-border payments.
While both MasterCard and Visa have made multiple moves into the blockchain industry, it was recently reported that both companies are planning to classify crypto and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) within a new “high risk” category.