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Visa Crypto Team

February 2022

 

3 Minutes

What consumers think of crypto – and how banks can help them

As the world of crypto continues to evolve, gaining momentum and mainstream popularity, so do questions about crypto’s role in the future of money movement.

Visa, together with LRW, conducted a data-driven exploration in eight markets (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S.) into the crypto landscape and the attitudes and behaviors of consumers who are interested in crypto. Understanding consumer perceptions and preferences for engaging with crypto at varying levels offers an opportunity for financial institutions to tailor solutions that serve their customers while staying up to speed on emerging trends in the space.

“Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership,” said Terry Angelos, SVP, and global head of fintech, Visa. “As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy.”

Crypto consciousness in the U.S.

Among U.S. adults that have discretion over their household finances, there is near universal awareness of cryptocurrency at 93 percent. Crypto awareness in the U.S. varies by audience, split among Active Owners, Passive Owners, Curious Consumers, Skeptics, and those who are Unengaged.

In the U.S., while white Americans represent more than half of Active and Passive Owners, non-white adults account for a high percentage of those who are Curious and a much lower percentage of those who are Unengaged, demonstrating significant growth opportunity.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Over 60 percent of crypto-aware consumers in the U.S. believe that cryptocurrency needs involvement from established financial institutions before it reaches mainstream adoption and for cryptocurrency to have staying power. Crypto is poised for growth as Active and Passive Owners indicate that they will increase their investments, and a large number of Curious Consumers are poised to enter the market. For these Curious Consumers, involvement from financial institutions can be an enabler for those who are ready to take the next step with cryptocurrency into ownership.

Curious consumers are primed for cryptocurrency adoption, and additional crypto services offered by trusted financial intuitions could push them to become more engaged. Something familiar and with appropriate consumer protections may encourage the transition to adoption. There’s an opportunity to build credibility by providing digestible, trusted information to consumers who want to have a better understanding of cryptocurrency before getting involved. The participation of financial institutions is also likely to have a meaningful impact, providing Curious Consumers the feeling of safety without compromising the needs of consumers who are already engaged in cryptocurrencies. Skeptical and Unengaged consumers, on the other hand, will need more proof that cryptocurrency is here to stay before becoming involved.

Opportunities for financial institutions

An example of a crypto product that financial institutions can adopt are crypto-linked card programs. Ownership of crypto-linked cards is relatively low compared to general crypto engagement – only one in 10 who own cryptocurrency have a crypto-linked card. The issuance of crypto-linked cards presents an opportunity to start participating in crypto, as interest in crypto-linked cards is high and lack of awareness may be a major reason for the low adoption among those who use or own cryptocurrency.

Over 80 percent of those who are Active Owners, Passive Owners, or Curious Consumers in the U.S. say they are interested in a crypto-linked card and its possible benefits. This suggests the crypto-linked card adoption rate is ready for growth. The biggest reason consumers are interested in a crypto-linked card is in line with their motivations for overall interest in cryptocurrency – joining the movement and supporting its rise in popularity. It is also likely that consumer interest in crypto-linked cards is tied to a desire for different payment options and an easy way to tap into crypto asset liquidity. Assurance that crypto can be used like fiat currency will give consumers the accessibility and ability to make payments from their crypto wallet balance in the same way they engage in commerce today.

For many owners, a crypto-linked card could be the gateway to everyday spending with cryptocurrency, as those who already do have a crypto-linked card report spending roughly equal amounts of cryptocurrency and fiat currencies with it.

Take a deeper dive and learn more about consumers in all eight markets by reading The Crypto Phenomenon: Consumer Attitudes & Usage.

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All brand names, logos and/or trademarks are the property of their respective owners, are used for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily imply product endorsement or affiliation with Visa.

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