Visa Pilots Its New Crypto API Programme With US Neobank First Boulevard

Visa Pilots Its New Crypto API Programme With US Neobank First Boulevard

by February 4, 2021

Visa has announced a partnership with First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank focused on building generational wealth for the black community, to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto APIs that is anticipated to launch later this year.

As part of the initial pilot programme, Visa plans to enable First Boulevard to connect to infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, to allow their customers to buy and sell Bitcoin.

The pilot will serve as a key first step in supporting API capabilities that help additional Visa clients access and integrate crypto features into their product offering.

The development of Visa’s crypto APIs marks the next phase of Visa’s digital currency strategy which is focused on expanding the company’s role as a network-of-networks.

As part of this initial test and learn phase, Visa will explore ways in which financial institutions lacking their own digital currency infrastructure can harness Visa’s platform for tapping into the growing world of crypto assets and blockchain networks.

Additionally, First Boulevard will also launch a visa debit card, which offers digital-first features, including early access to wages with Early Direct Deposit, a Cash Back for Buying Black™ programme, and financial education and budgeting tools to improve spending habits.

Jack Forestell, chief product officer, Visa

Jack Forestell

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa.


With this pilot programme, 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, Visa.

Donald Hawkins, president and chief executive officer, First Boulevard

Donald Hawkins

“The First Boulevard mission is to help black America build wealth.


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.”

said Donald Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Boulevard.

Visa said in a statement that it is committed to embedding diversity and inclusion into its partnership and go-to-market strategies. By prioritising partners like First Boulevard, Visa aims to level the playing field when it comes to access to new technologies.

In addition to the pilot with First Boulevard, Visa also announced a series of partnerships emphasising the company’s commitment to closing the financial gap in the black community.

Featured image: Business Wire