Visa to Allow Payment of Gas Fees by Card

Payment giant Visa is looking at ways to enable the payment of Ethereum gas fees through its cards.

The on-chain user experience needs simplification to enable the onboarding of the masses. While various companies are working to make the on-chain interaction seamless, Visa wants to make life easier when it comes to paying gas fees.

Visa Leverages ERC-4337 Standard

Visa will use the ERC-4337 standard and a paymaster contract to allow the payment of Ethereum gas fees off-chain. The payment company explains how the paymaster contract will work:

“A paymaster is a specialized type of smart contract account that can sponsor gas fees for user contract accounts (think of these as user-centric smart contracts).”

The company claims that through this solution, users will not need to hold native tokens of a particular chain to pay gas fees.

The blockchain transaction flow when the Visa card is used for gas fees payment
The blockchain transaction flow when a Visa card is used for gas fees payment

Generally, when a user wants to make an on-chain transaction or interact with the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, each transaction might incur gas fees. They are usually paid using the native token of a particular chain.

Hence, the users would need a certain amount of native tokens to cover their on-chain activities. However, the amount is not fixed, so users might either buy extra tokens, or alternatively run out of the native token balance.

Visa claims it can handle the on-chain complexity after the user selects a Visa card for gas fee payment. The company has already tested the idea on the Ethereum Goerli testnet.

Community Has Mixed Reviews

Some users appreciated the idea of using a Visa card for gas fee payments. An X (Twitter) user wrote:

Managing my wallet according to the required gas fees has always been a pain for me, and this, finally solves it.”

Others did not like the idea of paying additional fees for Visa services on top of the gas fees. Some even suggested implementing the idea on other blockchains, like Solana, which has relatively lower fees than Ethereum.

Community reaction on X (Twitter)
Community reaction on X (Twitter)

Both Visa and its competitor Mastercard have been experimenting with various innovations in the crypto field. In October 2022, Visa teamed up with JPMorgan to simplify blockchain payments between countries.

However, it was reported in February that payment companies are halting their innovation in the crypto sector due to the crackdown in the US. But as evident from the Visa off-chain gas fees payment experiment, the company now appears to have resumed working on crypto-related projects.

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