Payments colossus Visa has made an investment in Palo Alto-based credit card technology provider Deserve. The size of the investment has not been disclosed by the parties. Visa has followed in the footsteps of competitor Mastercard. In June, the latter contributed to Deserve’s $500 million valuation by participating in the company’s $50 million funding round. Last December, the fledgling fintech firm teamed up with Visa and cryptocurrency lender BlockFi to launch a card that offers Bitcoin-back rewards.
The product, which was launched in early July, allows approved customers to receive 1.5 percent back in the largest cryptocurrency when they pay for goods and services. The card was a huge success. According to BlockFi CEO Kalpesh Kapadia, transaction volume is now approaching $2 billion, with customers spending 50% more than average cardholders. According to AJ Shanley, head of Visa’s cryptocurrency business, the company will continue to work on crypto-based card programs:
We are excited about our partnership and new investment in Deserve, and we look forward to working together to accelerate the adoption of crypto-powered card programs.
Visa announced in June that the transaction volume of its crypto-powered cards had exceeded $1 billion in the first half of the year.
Earlier this week, competitor Mastercard announced a partnership with cryptocurrency firm Bakkt, allowing merchants and financial institutions to offer crypto services on top of its network.