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Visa and Tala’s partnership brings crypto to underbanked populations in emerging markets

The partnership allows Tala to issue Visa cards that are linked to Tala's crypto wallet.

Image by: Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr

Fri, 07 May 2021, 05:59 am UTC

Payments giant Visa and fintech startup Tala has formed a partnership aimed at providing access to crypto for underbanked consumers in emerging markets. The collaboration, which will make it easier for people to convert, store, and use cryptocurrencies, could provide a major boost to crypto adoption and usage.

On Wednesday, financial services provider Tala announced that it has formed a partnership with Visa “to help underbanked populations participate in the crypto economy,” according to Bitcoin.com. The company added that the partnership aims to “make it easier for underbanked consumers to convert, store, and use cryptocurrencies.”

Founded in 2011, Tala is a Santa Monica, California-based company that makes microloans — from $10 to $500 — to emerging markets consumers even without credit profiles, according to CNBC. The company has approved more than $2 billion in loans to more than 6 million people in India, Kenya, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Circle, one of Centre’s founder members, and the Stellar Development Foundation are also involved in the collaboration, according to Forbes. The collaboration will also involve Circle, one of Centre’s founding members, and the Stellar Development Foundation that oversees the XLM cryptocurrency. The two companies’ participation allows Tala customers access to the stablecoin USDC via Tala’s digital wallet, which can be used for crypto storage, crypto-fiat conversions, and cross-border transfers.

Meanwhile, its partnership with Visa allows Tala to issue Visa cards that are linked to Tala's crypto wallet. This means that Tala’s customers can use USDC as payment for goods and services to the over 70 million merchants worldwide that accept Visa.

“Through Tala’s integration with Circle and Stellar, Tala customers will have access to USDC in Tala’s digital wallet, enabling secure and stable storage of money, fast and affordable cross-border money transfers, and easy exchange into other digital assets or local fiat,” Tala said.

“Digital currencies like USDC have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places,” Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, said. “We’re excited to partner with Tala’s global team to bring the benefits of the crypto economy to the populations that need it most.”

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