In a potential transformative move for users, Visa, the payments solution provider, is testing an innovative solution enabling on-chain gas fees to be paid using a Visa card.
Mustafa Bedawala, a product manager at Visa, presented the report, highlighting an observed challenge with cryptocurrency wallets; the ongoing requirement to oversee Ether (ETH) balances for covering gas fees.
The standard Ethereum procedure involves users acquiring ETH from an exchange or on-ramp service and then transferring it to their wallets to cater to variable gas fees. This continuous adjustment of gas prices frequently leads to users either overspending or having insufficient ETH, introducing intricacies and challenges.
Visa’s innovative solution employs Ethereum’s ERC-4337 standard and the “Paymaster” smart contract, enabling off-chain gas fee settlement. The process involves the user triggering an Ethereum transaction via wallet, sent to the paymaster.
The web service computes the gas fee and charges Visa using Cybersource. Subsequently, a digital signature is provided and momentarily validated, then attached by the wallet before being sent to Ethereum. Paymaster verifies the signature and covers the gas fee.
This sequence of steps allows the user to directly pay gas fees with their Visa card off-chain, eliminating the need for users to hold ETH merely for paying fees.
According to the publication, Visa has trialed this concept on the Ethereum Goerli testnet, utilizing available open-source tools, such as Stackup’s userop.js library. The trial transactions effectively covered fees through the Paymaster, bypassing the requirement for ETH.
Notably, this concept has the potential to reduce friction for blockchain users and allows the user to directly pay gas fees with their Visa card off-chain, eliminating the need for users to hold ETH merely for paying fees.
The report also suggested wider ramifications, highlighting the potential for merchants or decentralized applications to utilize the Paymaster framework to improve customer interactions, facilitating gas fee payments using Visa cards. This innovation may also create opportunities for current wallet and Paymaster providers to introduce options for Visa card-based gas fee payments.