Visa proposes auto payments with self-custodial wallets

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Payments giant Visa has revealed its intention to develop new automatic payments that can pay for recurring bills using the blockchain technology. 

In a paper released on December 20, Visa said a possible solution was to enable users on the Ethereum blockchain to schedule auto payments from “self-custodial wallets,” where the user also acts as the custodian to control his or her funds through a private key.

Currently, Ethereum typically supports “push payments,” meaning that only users can initiate transactions, while auto payments that are triggered by the payer are not natively supported.

Visa said it was exploring the concept of account abstraction, which combines user accounts and smart contracts into one Ethereum account. It said this approach could allow for programmable validity to verify and validate any blockchain transaction.

The company said it sees auto payments as a core functionality that existing blockchain infrastructure lacks and its goal is to help create better user experience using existing and new payments rails. “To that end, we believe that programmable money and programmable payments represent an exciting opportunity,” it said.