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Visa joins First Boulevard for crypto API pilot programme

Crypto will be made more accessible to customers of First Boulevard, a neobank focused on financial empowerment for the Black community

Visa is partnering with digitally native neobank, First Boulevard, as revealed in a press release yesterday. First Boulevard aims to build generational wealth for America’s Black community and will now allow its customers to buy, custody and trade digital assets as the first company to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto application programming interfaces (APIs).

Visa’a Chief Product Officer, Jack Forestell, explained, “We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa. With this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients by providing an easy bridge to crypto assets and blockchain networks.”

The partnership will see First Boulevard launch their own Visa Debit card, which will include features such as a Cash Back for Buying Black scheme and the ability to access wages up to two days early. The neobank will also introduce budgeting tools and educational resources to make crypto and other new asset classes more accessible.

President and CEO of First Boulevard, Donald Hawkins, commented, “The First Boulevard mission is to help Black America build wealth. We are thrilled to partner with the leader in digital payments, Visa, and leverage their crypto APIs to provide another channel for the Black community to access crypto as a new asset class that can help build Black wealth.”

The announcement is part of Visa’s digital currency strategy, in which it will explore how financial institutions can harness Visa’s technology to access the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The digital infrastructure is provided by Visa’s partner Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank.

President and Co-founder of Anchorage, Diogo Monica, added, “Visa’s crypto APIs pilot program is a significant step forward both for the proliferation of crypto as an asset class, and for accessibility and inclusion in payments and financial services. We are thrilled to be working alongside Visa and First Boulevard to build the infrastructure for a more secure and equitable financial future.”

It is anticipated that more of Visa’s clients will adopt the APIs to integrate crypto features into their product offerings following the pilot, which is expected to launch later this year.

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