After FTX’s meltdown, Visa’s incoming CEO says crypto can still be part of future payment systems

Ryan McInerney, president of Visa and an architect of the payment giant's tech strategy.
Courtesy of Visa

Good morning.

Visa CEO Al Kelly announced he’ll hand the top job to president Ryan McInerney on Feb. 1 and become executive chairman. Kelly has been CEO since 2016, and his transition at age 64 is a sign that the Visa board is looking for stability.

McInerney, who was formerly at McKinsey and JPMorgan, has been president of Visa since 2013, and earned a spot that year on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list. I spoke to both men shortly before the announcement and asked them about the main challenge Visa faces in the next decade. Here’s Kelly:

We still have $14 trillion of cash out there being spent by consumers that can be digitized. There are many new use cases and opportunities. And we have the ability to grow geographically. Our growth opportunities are boundless. Ryan has the passion, energy and experience to take the company to new heights.”

McInerney concurred:

“In an increasingly digital world, we want Visa to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone everywhere.”

I asked McInerney, in light of the FTX meltdown, where he saw cryptocurrency fitting into that payments future. His response:

It’s very much to be seen. Crypto as we know it today is very much an asset class, and a volatile asset class. We do a lot of work with the asset platforms. And we do a lot of work on different opportunities using the blockchain. We think it’s possible (it will be part of the future payment system), but we are in the very, very early innings. It’s yet to be seen.”

More Fortune coverage of the FTX meltdown here, here and here. Other news below.

Alan Murray

Editor’s note: This essay was updated to correct Kelly’s age at the time of transition.



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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. 

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