Every now and then, the digital currency ecosystem receives positive marks from unlikely allies. Visa, one of the world’s leading credit card issuers, recently stated how 2015 was a breakthrough year for payments. With transaction volumes growing and new players joining the game, the next few years will be very interesting to say the least. Additionally, the blockchain is no longer a payment tool that can be ignored either.
Visa Sees Potential in Blockchain Technology
When it comes to disrupting the payments industry, there is some fierce competition to reckon with. While Bitcoin adoption is still in the very early stages of becoming a mainstream trend, players such as Visa see the number of card transactions rise year over year. In fact, the entire payment sector saw a 9% transaction volume growth, which is an indicator as to how often people use plastic cards in favor of cash.
But there are other noticeable trends as well, more particularly the FinTech sector and the emergency of blockchain technology. Overall, 2015 was an exciting year for the payment sector, and speculation is running wild as to what 2016 will bring. Everybody wants to be part of the payments sector these days, but what were the driving factors throughout 2015?
One of the hottest payment trends in the world right now comes in the form of contactless payments. In fact, most of these payments occur through plastic cards with NFC capabilities. However, merchants will have to upgrade their payment terminals to accept contactless payments, something that both Visa and MasterCard will ensure over the next few years.
That being said, innovation is the biggest driving factor in the payments sector today. Mobile payment solutions are slowly starting to gain ground and the competition is getting more fierce than it has ever been. FinTech players are looking to create new and innovative payment methods accessible to consumers all over the world. One way to do that is by embracing Bitcoin and the blockchain, both of which are more real than ever.
Whereas most people gave Bitcoin and the blockchain very little chance to succeed a few years ago, the reality turned out quite differently. There is no room left to ignore the blockchain, as its technological capabilities are exactly what the payment sector has been craving for quite some time. At the same time, Bitcoin has exposed some critical vulnerabilities in the way payments work and showcases how peer-to-peer transfers between users are ever important.
The 2016 Challenge For Bitcoin and Blockchain
Despite this vote of confidence by Visa, there is still a lot of work to be done before Bitcoin or the blockchain will make a major impact on the everyday lives of consumers. First of all, there is still the lack of trust associated with digital currency as a whole, simply because there is no central oversight. Future regulatory frameworks could bring more legitimacy to this industry, though.
Secondly, there are very few real-world scenarios addressed by either the blockchain or Bitcoin right now. All of the progress made so far is targeting a very niche part of the global population, rather than fixing issues everyone can relate to. Tackling the remittance market head-on would be a good place to start.
What are your thoughts on this nod of approval towards Bitcoin and the blockchain by Visa? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Visa Europe
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Visa