Visa Eyes Up a Lucrative Future that Could Turn Credit Cards into Dinosaurs

The days of traditional transactions could be a thing of the past. We’re talking anywhere from the use of credit cards to the way you get paid.

At least that’s how Visa (V) sees it. In fact, they see the digitization of payments as yet another pandemic-born trend that could be worth up to $185 trillion.

The longtime credit card giant is now eyeing up opportunities to capitalize on the mass adoption of digital payments as part of the company’s transition into the future.

Visa’s strategy to take advantage of the digital payment movement was initially part of its plan in the $5.3 billion purchase of Plaid, a company that enables users to link their bank-account credentials with popular platforms like PayPal Holding Inc.’s Venmo. But since the deal has since been called off by both parties this year following pushback from the Department of Justice, Visa has maintained it can still expand into new payment opportunities, leveraging its Visa Direct platform.

Visa Direct makes use of the company’s card rails to send payments almost in the reverse of how transactions usually take place. Consumers are familiar with using their cards to pay for things, but Visa Direct makes it so people can use the company’s infrastructure to get paid themselves, whether by employers, friends, government agencies, insurers, or other parties.

Visa president Ryan McInerney told MarketWatch the platform’s growth has exploded “like a rocket ship,” with 3.5 billion transactions processed during the company’s last fiscal year, up from about 2 billion a year before.

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