(Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. has joined rival Mastercard Inc. as an investor in Deserve, the credit-card technology startup’s chief executive officer said in an interview.
“Our partnership with Visa in crypto will power interesting use cases around rewards, payments and settlements for credit card transactions,” Deserve co-founder and CEO Kalpesh Kapadia said.
Deserve launched a Visa credit card in partnership with cryptocurrency financial services provider BlockFi in July.
The card has achieved “tremendous growth” measured by adoption and usage, and is approaching $2 billion in annualized transaction volume, Kapadia said. BlockFi cardholders are projected to spend roughly $30,000 per year, 50% above that of average credit cardholders, added Kapadia.
The card pays at least 1.5% back in Bitcoin on every purchase, according to BlockFi’s website, which states additional Bitcoin bonuses can be earned for certain transactions and referrals. BlockFi’s card has already generated 120 Bitcoin in rewards, Kapadia said.
“We are excited about our partnership and new investment in Deserve and are looking forward to continuing to drive the adoption of crypto-powered card programs together,” AJ Shanley, Visa’s vice president of crypto, said in an emailed statement.
“The BlockFi Bitcoin rewards credit card has been an immediate success,” he added, noting that it was launched to “appeal to crypto enthusiasts and introduce crypto to the masses.”
Palo Alto, California-based Deserve counts Ally Ventures, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Sallie Mae among its existing investors. The company says its technology has rapidly hastened the credit-card application process, enabling consumers to apply for, activate and set up cards in digital wallets in minutes.
Read more: Deserve Valuation Tops $500 Million as Mastercard Invests
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