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Visa to Enable Auto-Bill Payments via Self-Custodial Crypto Wallets

Visa is looking to integrate crypto with more day-to-day use cases. The payments giant could roll out a functionality, which would enable users to make their telephone and electricity payments via self-custodial crypto wallets. Currently, several banks allow their customers to integrate their accounts with subscription services. This auto-deducts monthly charges for utilities and keeps the cycle running. Visa is essentially looking to initiate similar services but keeping crypto in the central focus.

Self-custodial crypto wallets allow crypto holders to hold their own private keys, rather than relying on a decentralised exchange, that could be prone to exploits or hacks.

As part of its outlook, members from Visa’s crypto team have proposed to enable the automatic ‘pull’ of funds from self-custodial wallets built on the Ethereum blockchain. If this plan is executed, the need for users to manually sign off each transaction would be eliminated once and for all.

“Visa outlines how to write a smart contract application for a self-custodial wallet. This application could allow a user to setup a programmable payment instruction that can push funds automatically from one self-custodial wallet account to another at recurring intervals. This solution taps into a concept known as ‘Account Abstraction (AA)’, a developer proposal currently being explored within the Ethereum ecosystem,” Visa wrote in an official blog post.

Founded in 1958 by the Bank of America, Visa is estimated to have nearly 800 million card holders outside of the US and around 345 million customers in the US.

Currently, the payments company has deployed a special team, dedicated to the research and development around blockchain-based payments solutions.

The company is conducting studies on the security, privacy, scalability, and interoperability of various blockchain protocol and ways they can be put to use.

“We’re focused on growing our core competencies in Web3 infrastructure layers and blockchain protocols driving crypto development,” said Catherine Gu, Head of CBDC and Protocols at Visa.

The payments company has been initiating several projects that put cryptocurrencies to the forefront of useability for everyday transactions.

Earlier this year, for instance, Visa launched a creator programme to help digital-age artists understand and use NFTs.

In January this year, Visa had also revealed that its customers made $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 18,685 crore) in payments using its crypto-linked cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022 that ended on December 31. That volume, when put into perspective, accounted for over 70 percent of all crypto-card volume throughout the fiscal year of 2021 that ended on September 30, 2021, signalling an increase in the adoption of crypto payments during those months.

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