Visa partners with neobank First Boulevard for new crypto API initiative

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Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Visa has chosen First Boulevard, a neobank with a focus on financially empowering the Black American community, as a partner for its new crypto API program anticipated to launch later this year.

First Boulevard will be the first to pilot Visa’s suite of crypto APIs which will allow the neobank’s customers to purchase, hold, and trade digital assets held by Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank.

For Visa, this marks an important step in expanding the company’s role as a ‘network-of-networks.’

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants… with this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients by providing an easy bridge to crypto assets and blockchain networks,” said Jack Forestell, chief product officer at Visa.

First Boulevard also commended the new partnership as a means to help further the bank’s ongoing mission.

“The First Boulevard mission is to help Black America build wealth,” said Donald Hawkins, president and chief executive officer at First Boulevard. “We are thrilled to partner with the leader in digital payments, Visa, and leverage their crypto APIs to provide another channel for the Black community to access crypto as a new asset class that can help build Black wealth.”

Both companies hope the partnership will help level the playing field in terms of access to new crypto technologies. First Boulevard will also be launching a Visa debit card, alongside a ‘Cash Back for Buying Black’ program, and a series of financial education playlists as part of their app.

Considering a recent study found a 19% disparity between white respondents and African American respondents knowledge of cryptocurrencies, as this publication reported, First Boulevard’s mission is clearly an important one.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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