FIS’s Worldpay is diving into cryptocurrency payments

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Hello and welcome to Fintech Protocol. This Friday: Making Cryptocurrencies Paid (and Singing), Ukraine’s Cryptocurrency Airdrop Sucks, and Ken Griffin’s Regrets.

Rocking

A milestone in crypto culture is absurd optimism. WAGMI and HODL are almost incomprehensible to Gen Xers who graduated during a recession and adopted a thoughtful cynicism in response to a world that seemed stacked against them. The quirky musical style of cryptocurrency fan Randi Zuckerberg, a senior millennial, produces many swings, including his recent, ahem, adaptation of a number of Twisted Sisters. But consider that there may be a lesson in his ardor for coins: Has any financial product in the history of money ever produced the same cheeky joy as cryptocurrency?

– Owen Thomas (e-mail | twitter)

Charging cryptocurrencies

Worldpay is already processing billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency purchases. Now the card payment giant is diving deeper into cryptocurrencies.

FIS’s unit has a network of over 1 million merchants it could use to integrate crypto payments, an industry that has so far been dominated by a handful of crypto-native companies. And it works with four major US cryptocurrency exchanges: Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and OKEx.

Buying cryptocurrencies is just the beginning. Worldpay is planning to leverage these relationships to go further by enabling consumers to purchase cryptocurrencies with credit or debit cards, its main cryptocurrency business at the moment.

  • With a big bet on stablecoins, Worldpay hopes to integrate crypto payments with two new products it is preparing for release.
  • First, it plans to allow crypto-native companies like cryptocurrency exchanges to accept fiat payments via Visa or Mastercard and convert the proceeds into stablecoins, said Nabil Manji, head of Crypto and Emerging Business at Worldpay. This product, which is particularly useful for companies that use stablecoins as a reserve currency and prefer not to touch fiat, is expected to be launched by the end of June.
  • The second product, “pay by crypto”, would allow any Worldpay merchant to accept stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies as payment directly from consumers, online or in person. The merchant would have the ability to immediately convert the payment into fiat if he so wishes. The product is still in development, but may be available later this year or early next year.
  • Instead of paying with a card, consumers could use a crypto wallet, which is a notable move coming from a payment processor that has built its business on cards.

Could this unlock cryptocurrency shopping? The pay-by-crypto product could potentially provide consumers with many more merchants where they could spend their cryptocurrencies, as Worldpay has more than 1 million merchants worldwide.

  • Worldpay has not yet said what it will charge merchants. While they can bypass Visa and Mastercard exchange rates and avoid chargebacks, crypto transactions carry their own fees and merchants should understand refund and dispute procedures.
  • The move of a major cryptocurrency card processor could amplify the threat cryptocurrencies pose to Visa and Mastercard payment circuits.
  • At the same time, card networks are making their own moves to enter cryptocurrencies. Mastercard has an agreement with Coinbase on NFT, as well as another with Bakkt to enable cryptocurrency-based credit and debit cards. Visa has cards with Coinbase and BlockFi, among others, and is testing the stablecoin settlement.

It is unclear whether consumers will want to spend their cryptocurrencies. Even those who are cryptocurrency savvy are reluctant to spend cryptocurrencies whose value fluctuates, as this could mean triggering taxes or forgoing a steep price hike. Worldpay’s emphasis on stablecoins could help solve this problem, since those tokens are designed to hold constant value against fiat currencies. And it is positioning itself to be ready if and when consumers decide they are willing to pay with cryptocurrencies.

– Tomio Geron (e-mail | twitter)

A version of this story first appeared on Protocol.com. Read it here.

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About money

On the protocol: Ukraine canceled its anticipated cryptocurrency airdrop, turning to NFT sales instead. While the promise of an airdrop resulted in an influx of micro-donations, the cancellation followed an apparent attempt to forge the promised token.

Lugano, a city in Switzerland, plans to make bitcoin and USDT legal tender. The city has partnered with Tether to create bitcoin, USDT and its de facto legal tender LVGA Points token. The Swiss franc will remain the effective legal tender nationwide.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said it investigated 300 cryptocurrency companies last year. UK financial control said there are at least 50 live investigations into unauthorized activities not registered with the FCA.

UkraineDAO raised over $ 6 million through an NFT sale of the Ukrainian flag. The sale of the NFT generated over 2,100 ether. The proceeds will go to non-profit humanitarian organizations in Ukraine.

OpenSea has excluded Iranian users from its market. Users complained on Twitter that their OpenSea accounts were disabled without notice or explanation. An OpenSea representative confirmed the ban, saying they were complying with US sanctions.

Infura, a service used by the MetaMask wallet and other blockchain tools, accidentally prevented Venezuelan users from accessing its services. While editing configurations in block other jurisdictions in accordance with the US sanctions list, Infura “mistakenly configured the settings more broadly than necessary.”

Overhear

Brex co-CEO Henrique Dubugras he said the corporate credit card company has no plans to go public anytime soon. “I think we should just consider [going public] in a good market. We are not against public listing or anything, but we are still a 5 year old company and I think it is very normal for companies to wait until they are 8 or 9 “, he said at an event.

Ken Griffinthe billionaire CEO of Citadelsaid he made the wrong call on crypto. “Crypto has been one of the great stories in finance over the past 15 years. And I’ll be clear, I’ve been in the opposition camp in that time period “, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Anna Lou Tiroldeputy director of FinCENsaid the Treasury’s efforts against corruption and other financial crimes were strengthened by the passage of the 2021 Anti-Money Laundering Act. “Represents the largest transformation of the US AML-CFT regime since the USA Patriot Act of 2001”, he said at an event.

The graph

Have the Russians downloaded rubles for cryptocurrencies? There is a clear correlation between the fall of the ruble against the dollar and the rise in the price of bitcoin. But the correlation isn’t causation: bitcoin has risen as fears of a crypto winter fade, while the ruble’s movements have been closely linked to sanctions.

A MESSAGE FROM NOVOPAYMENT

The future of the digital economy is in our hands. That’s why NovoPayment collaborates with fintechs to turn their visions into reality. Unlock the power of NovoPayment’s suite of complementary BaaS solutions, from digital banking to card solutions, payment infrastructure and more, all on our easy-to-use platform. We innovate.

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Thanks for reading, see you on Monday!

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