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‘The financial industry was not built to serve the needs of melanated people because we were excluded from its construction’: Visa partners on crypto with First Boulevard

  • Visa partnered with digital bank First Boulevard for the anticipated launch of its crypto API pilot program.
  • The challenger bank which is focused on increasing financial inclusion for the Black community will enable its customers to purchase, trade and custody digital assets.
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‘The financial industry was not built to serve the needs of melanated people because we were excluded from its construction’: Visa partners on crypto with First Boulevard

Earlier this month, Visa partnered with challenger bank First Boulevard for its Crypto API pilot program which is expected to launch later this year. First Boulevard is focused on building generational wealth for the Black community and will be the first to pilot Visa’s new range of crypto APIs. 

The pilot will allow First Boulevard customers to buy, sell and store crypto assets administered by Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital assets bank. The soft launch underscores the first stage roll out of Visa’s crypto APIs before they are made available for Visa clients to integrate crypto features within their own products.

The pilot program marks the latest step in Visa’s digital currency strategy which is about expanding Visa’s role as a “network of networks” and a partner of choice for fintechs. 

“The idea is to help fintechs and financial institutions that lack a crypto offering to build one,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa. “Providing access to crypto features within their core banking products and mobile apps can help financial institutions attract, retain and further engage their customers. Additionally, the program could help fintechs and our financial institution clients compete with crypto exchanges and create additional revenue streams.”


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