Every day, in every corner of the Earth, people have a choice of how to spend, whether it is cash, checks, or using Visa, Mastercard or a local card in their market, and new fintech platforms. The post-Covid world does not look great for cash and checks — just look at the stock price of a payments fintech Square this year versus that of a cash security company like Brink’s.
For Visa CEO Alfred Kelly, there’s opportunity in the rapid changes in the way people pay for things.
“The battleground always is out in the local market, every day,” Kelly said at the recent CNBC Evolve Summit. “We operate in 230 countries and territories and want to win as many transactions as we can.”
The Visa CEO cited an estimated $18 trillion still spent in cash and checks as an opportunity that will “accelerate with coronavirus and concern about germs.”
One of the digital accelerants during Covid-19 is cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, the most prominent example, is approaching a record and Visa sees digital currencies playing a greater role in its business in the years ahead.
The price of bitcoin has soared in 2020 in a world beset by a virus that increases fears about exchanging physical currency and has led to massive central bank monetary stimulus.
Underlying Visa’s view of cryptocurrencies is an evolving definition of the company as a network.
“We’re a network and increasingly trying to become