In a potentially disruptive initiative for users, payments solutions provider Visa is testing a solution that allows gas fees to be paid off-chain with Visa cards.
Mustafa Bedawala, Product Manager, Visa, presented the report, Thrown light on One challenge seen with crypto wallets: the need to control Ether (ETH) balances to cover gas fees.
Standard Ethereum process requires users to buy ETH from an exchange or on-ramp service, and then transfer it to their wallet to cover variable gas fees. This constant adjustment of gas prices often leads users to Spending Too Much or Not Having Enough ETHIntroduction to complexity and challenges.
Visa’s innovative solution utilizes Ethereum’s ERC-4337 standard and the “Paymaster” smart contract, which allows for off-chain gas fee settlement. This process requires the user to activate Ethereum transactions through the wallet sent to Paymaster.
The web service calculates the gas fee and charges it to VISA using CyberSource. After this, a digital signature is provided which is verified transiently before being sent to Ethereum and then linked to the wallet. Paymaster verifies the signature and covers the gas fee.
This sequence of steps allows users to pay gas fees directly with their off-chain Visa card, eliminating the need for users to hold ETH just to pay for fees.
As per the publication, Visa tests the concept on the Ethereum Goerli testnet, using available open-source tools, such as StackUp’s userop.js library. The test transaction effectively covered fees through Paymaster, bypassing the ETH requirement.
Specifically, the concept has the potential to reduce friction for blockchain users and allows users to pay gas fees directly with their off-chain Visa cards. Eliminating the need for users to hold ETH only to pay taxes,
The report also suggests wider implications, highlighting the potential for merchants or decentralized applications to use the Paymaster framework to enhance interactions with customers by facilitating gas fee payments with Visa cards. This innovation could also create opportunities for existing wallet providers and Paymasters to offer Visa card-based gas fee payment options.
Translation by Walter Rizzo