A PYMNTS Company

Tala, Visa Team UP On Crypto For Emerging Markets

 |  May 6, 2021

Call it an ignition play for cryptocurrency — specifically, making crypto spendable, not just a store of value — across borders with the unbanked populations of the world, billions of consumers among them, as the match, reported PYMNTS.

In an interview with Karen Webster, Cuy Sheffield, head of Crypto at Visa, and Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala, said a new partnership between the two firms is aimed at putting stablecoins into digital wallets, onto credit cards — and bringing that digital commerce direct to merchants.

The two companies announced on Wednesday, May 5, that they are teaming up to help the unbanked gain access to, store, and most importantly, use cryptocurrencies as part of everyday spend.

Tala exists primarily as a lending platform and personal finance app for the underbanked in emerging markets. Siroya said to date, the company has delivered more than US$2 billion in credit to more than 6 million customers in countries as far-flung as the Philippines, Kenya, and Mexico, and the company recently established presence in India.

The announcement marks one of the first deals since Visa stated in March that it is now settling transactions in dollar-denominated stablecoins, specifically Circle’s USDC, the stablecoin governed by the Centre Consortium.

In terms of the mechanics, Tala’s integration with Circle and Stellar will enable Tala’s customers to have access to USDC in the firm’s digital wallet, which in turn can be used in cross-border money transfers and easily exchanged into other digital assets or local fiat.

As Sheffield told Webster, “There’s a lot of potential for digital currencies to extend the value of digital payments and reach consumers in emerging markets.”

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