The New Era of Crypto Payments

According to a survey by Visa Inc., almost a quarter of small businesses in nine countries around the world plan to accept digital currencies as a form of payment in 2022, while 13 percent of consumers in those countries expect retail stores to begin offering crypto payments this year and beyond.

The survey of 2,250 small business owners across countries including the United States, Brazil, Singapore and Canada suggests cryptocurrencies may be starting to go mainstream as a means of payment. Visa also surveyed 1,000 adults in the United States, along with 500 adults from each of the nine countries.

“I think more people are feeling more confident with crypto,” said Jeni Mundy, Visa’s global head of merchant sales and acquiring.

Despite their rising popularity among retail and professional investors, cryptocurrencies are not widely used to pay for goods and services, in part because of their frequent fluctuations in value.

On Monday, Bitcoin fell more than 5 per cent, tumbling under the $40,000 level for the first time since September. Small businesses outside North America are more open to accepting digital currencies, including Bitcoin, as forms of payment.

Visa found that more than 30 percent of small business merchants in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil plan to offer customers the option to pay using crypto in the coming months. Digital currencies have taken off in each of those jurisdictions, despite varying regulations.

In contrast, 19 percent of small businesses in the United States and just 8 percent in Canada expect to offer crypto as a payment option in 2022.