Another busy news day for mobile payments, as Google made an announcement regarding NFC payments. It is certainly news that Google is getting in the game by testing a new payment service…something that we’ve been doing around the world for the past couple of years. But I’d remind you that launching NFC payments in the US this year was just one small aspect of our recent announcement regarding Visa’s plan to provide a global, comprehensive solution enabling consumers to transact wherever, whenever by using a card, a computer or a mobile device which kicks off later this year.
For our part, Visa is fully embracing the spirit of competition, and we are pleased to see the industry’s growing excitement and investment in the mobile space. I’m confident Visa will continue to lead the way in this important category and we have significant momentum on our side.
The key to our strategy is an open, global approach.
What does that mean? Our mobile solution in the United States is designed to be used on any mobile network, with any NFC-enabled smart phone, with any financial institution and on any payment product (credit, debit, prepaid). Bottom line: We are committed to providing consumers with choice by allowing them to make mobile payments with whatever mobile device they choose using the trusted accounts they already have.
Contrast our approach with our competitors’ plans and the fundamental differences become apparent.
But if you want to just talk about NFC payments, we believe we are ahead of the competition. Over the past two years, Visa has made tremendous progress:
- Visa is already working with four of the largest banks in the United States — Bank of America, Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo — to make NFC-based mobile payments a reality today.
- Visa’s mobile program is operable today at approximately 300,000 locations worldwide, anywhere Visa payWave is accepted. To see our solution in action, take a look at this video, which shows a program with the New York City subway. But you could just as easily be paying for a taxi ride in Manhattan, or walking into the major fast food restaurant across the street.
- Visa is not content to just enable NFC payment. We are already working with leading financial institutions and merchants to launch a next generation digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in Fall 2011, which will make the payment experience easier and more convenient.
- From the outset, we’ve been relentlessly focused on a globally interoperable solution. We recognize that people travel and pay for goods and services in countries outside their own. That’s why the Visa mobile payment functionality on my phone works just as easily and dependably in Malaysia as it does across the street here in San Francisco.
- Lastly, while NFC is a critical aspect of our mobile strategy, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. That’s why we’re ensuring our strategy addresses eCommerce, mCommerce, social networking commerce and person-to-person payment environments around the world.
But remember, while NFC payments are important, consumers want a solution that enables them to transact from their home and office, as well as in the store. Without question, the stakes are high. Mobile technology will transform how people pay for goods and services in the future. I’m confident Visa has the right approach, the best technology and strong momentum to grow this critical segment of our business.
Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on May 26, 2011 at 10:48 am