Why every bank needs a crypto strategy

  • By Zilla Efrat

One in three Australian crypto owners would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offered crypto products in the next 12 months, according to a study by Visa.

The survey of more than 790 financial decision-makers across Australia also found that a significant majority of crypto owners (82 per cent) were interested in buying crypto from their banks.

The study revealed that digital currencies were taking greater hold in the popular consciousness – awareness of crypto among financial decision-makers was near-universal at 93 per cent.

“Digital currencies and crypto assets signify a technology shift not only for money movement but also digital ownership, with growth in this space poised to continue,” Anthony Jones, Visa’s head of innovation and partnerships for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said yesterday on the release of the survey.

“As consumer investment into this new asset class gains momentum and Australians start to evolve how they think about the future of money, every financial institution will require a strategy for crypto.”

The study found that 27 per cent of Australian crypto-aware respondents had directly engaged with crypto either as an investment vehicle or as a medium of exchange.

In addition, 36 per cent of crypto owners said they were very likely to use crypto to pay friends or family in the next 12 months and 33 per cent were very likely to buy crypto goods such as non-fungible tokens.

Among crypto owners, the biggest drivers of owning and using cryptocurrency were to build wealth (40 per cent), to take part in the “financial way of the future” (34 per cent) and not wanting to miss out on its potential rise (28 per cent).

Crypto rewards cards and crypto-linked payments were also seen as attractive. Among crypto-owners in Australia, 74 per cent expressed interest in crypto-linked cards, which would allow them to spend crypto at a retailer in the same way as they would spend with a debit or credit card. Similarly, 73 per cent were interested in crypto rewards, which would allow them to earn crypto as a reward for their card spending.

Given the growing client in crypto, Visa has launched a Global Crypto Advisory, an offering within Visa Consulting and Analytics designed to help clients and partners advance their own crypto journey.

Through its work with more than 60 crypto platforms, Visa believes its global network of consultants and product experts have deep expertise to help financial institutions evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations.

“Over the past year, there has been a notable shift in mindset across the payments ecosystem, with businesses moving from a curiosity in crypto to actually building a strategy and product roadmap,” said Jones. “We are excited to help our clients and partners, globally and here in Australia, navigate this new era of money movement.”