Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Jun 27, 2012

Small Business Spending Management Made Easy with Visa Payment Controls

You may have heard this phrase before: small business owners wear many hats. One of the more time-consuming and cumbersome hats is that of the CFO. Today, many small businesses use cash or checks for everyday work expenses. This requires employees to submit individual receipts and detailed reports for reimbursement – resulting in the time-consuming task of managing employees’ receipts.

Business owners now have a new service available to them to help manage this process more efficiently using electronic payments. Today, Visa launched Visa Payment Controls, an online platform designed to give business owners the ability to manage how, when and where employee company cards are being used. Take, for example, a florist in New Jersey who can set spending parameters so delivery persons can only make purchases on their company cards for less than $100 per transaction in the state of New Jersey during weekday business hours.

Visa Payment Controls can give valuable time back to small business owners so they can focus on what they do best – running their business.

For more information about Visa’s suite of small business products and services, visit www.visa.com/smallbusiness.

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Posted by: Sarah Toffoli, Visa Corporate Relations on June 27, 2012 at 5:11 am

Jun 26, 2012

Mobile Money Gets Another Boost As Monitise Closes Clairmail Acquisition

Congratulations to our strategic partner Monitise for successfully closing its acquisition of Clairmail today. The deal combines two of the leading providers of mobile banking services for financial institutions, a move that has the potential to accelerate the growth of mobile money services globally.

Monitise and Visa have a long standing partnership – in fact, Visa Inc. is currently the leading shareholder in Monitise with a 12.4% equity ownership stake. Our alliance with Monitise has helped Visa to develop a comprehensive suite of mobile financial services that are already deployed by financial institutions in key geographies like the U.S and India, and are enabling Visa issuers to “mobilize” existing Visa card accounts.

The news of Monitise’s acquisition of Clairmail couldn’t have come at a better time. The majority of adults in countries like the U.S., Canada and the UK own smartphones capable of serving up sophisticated mobile banking and payment applications. In the U.S. alone, 25 percent of smartphone users say they mostly access the Internet and online services, like banking using their phone instead of a computer. Most importantly, consumers want these applications to come from a trusted entity. In a recent consumer survey by KMPG, 56 percent of consumers said they trust their financial institution or the major payment networks to handle their mobile commerce financial data.

Monitise and Clairmail have long provided mobile banking solutions to the world’s leading financial institutions. Together these companies help enable mobile banking for a third of the top 50 North American financial institutions (including 8 of the top 13) and serve 13 million registered mobile banking users across four continents. That’s impressive especially if you consider the slow uptake of mobile NFC-payments and the rising debate over when mobile payments will be widely available.

The combined Monitise-Clairmail expertise will benefit Visa clients around the world. In the U.S., Monitise and Visa have already developed a suite of mobile services that allow Visa issuers in North America to offer their account holders the ability to monitor account history and balances, transfer funds between accounts, and receive near real time transaction alerts on their mobile devices. In India, Visa and Monitise have formed a joint venture, Movida, a mobile payment service that enables mobile subscribers in India to pay bills, top up prepaid airtime and buy tickets from their mobile phone.

As mobile, internet and social networks continue converging, Visa and our client financial institutions will continue to look for ways to make mobile payments more seamless and secure, while enabling consumers to shop and pay wherever they are, with their mobile device of choice.

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Posted by: Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Product on June 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

Jun 25, 2012

Visa Gets Some Respect

In Barron’s annual survey of the World’s Most Respected Companies, Visa made its debut at #13.  We are in great company – Apple, IBM and McDonald’s top the list along with other well-known companies.  Survey participants said strong management, sound business strategy, ethical business practices and product innovation were the most important characteristics of a respectable company.  We couldn’t agree more and that’s what motivates our 7,500 employees around the world every day.

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Posted by: Doug Michelman, Global Head, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on June 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Jun 21, 2012

Visa at Mobile Asia Expo

All eyes are on Shanghai this week as they host the Mobile Asia Expo, where Visa is showcasing the latest in mobile payments technology. The conference marks a milestone for the GSMA in hosting a tradeshow of this scale in China, where more than 200 mobile technology companies are participating alongside Visa and the organizers expect more than 20,000 attendees by the end of the three day event.

Visa understands consumers everywhere have a distinctive relationship with their mobile device where it has become an extension of themselves whether they’re at work or at play – and they’re looking for a more interactive relationship with that device. It’s not difficult to envision a future where payments can be made with a wave or tap of the mobile phone; one where shoppers would be able to purchase items at their favorite store on-the-go with their mobile phones.

On day one of the conference, I spoke alongside senior executives from mobile technology firms about the current state of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NFC is increasingly being adopted by payment networks, banks, merchants, mobile device manufacturers and mobile network operators as the global standard for mobile payments, and has enormous potential for both consumers and businesses.

Visa is commercially ready to support mobile operators and financial institutions with the roll-out of NFC-based payment systems. We have moved the technology from pilot to commercial readiness and are optimistic that consumers will embrace NFC-enabled mobile payments this year.  A complex ecosystem is required to enable contactless payments, and Visa is working closely with merchants, acquirers, issuers and mass transit operators to increase acceptance of NFC payments at the point-of-sale.

At our booth in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre Hall N2, H10, Visa is showcasing the latest mobile payments technology, including demonstrations of Visa Mobile Contactless, Visa Mobile Prepaid, as well as Visa Person-to-Person Transfers.

Follow our live updates (in Mandarin) on Sina Weibo at http://e.weibo.com/visachina.

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Posted by: Niki Manby, Head of Emerging Products, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East & Africa, Visa on June 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

Jun 20, 2012

Visa’s Global Approach to Volunteerism

From Japan to Dubai to Mexico City to Virginia, Visa employees around the world are making a difference by giving back to their local communities.

This week, Visa is proud to participate in the [U.S.] National Conference on Volunteering and Service—the largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders in the world. More than 5,000 representatives from the public, private and government sectors are gathering in Chicago for three days of learning, innovation and inspiration. The conference is hosted by Points of Light, Visa’s global volunteer program partner.

One key component of this week’s conference is a focus on corporate employee volunteer programs, with a particular emphasis on corporations activating global employee volunteer programs. With over 7,000 employees around the world, one of Visa’s greatest assets in how we give back is through the time and talent of our employee population.

Our global approach to community service is a cornerstone of Visa’s volunteer program. In 18 Visa offices around the world, the Visa Corporate Responsibility program is helping connect Visa employees to local volunteer opportunities, supported by Points of Light and its affiliate, HandsOn Network. For example, our employees in Singapore have an ongoing volunteer commitment with Mainly I Love Kids (MiLK). Our employees in Miami recently improved Liberty Park by refurbishing playground equipment, while our employees in Johannesburg volunteered at a children’s AIDS clinic. Visa’s volunteer program is designed to have a positive, global impact by inspiring community service at the local level and encouraging service in communities around the world.

As a leader in service sector innovation, Points of Light’s mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to volunteer in their local communities by providing access to tools, resources, and opportunities. We are a proud supporter of Points of Light and look forward to incorporating some of the innovative service ideas featured in this week’s conference into our global employee volunteer efforts.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

Jun 15, 2012

Financial Inclusion: Spotlight on the Underserved in the U.S.

This week, leading private sector, government and civil society representatives are gathering at the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) 7th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum to discuss the latest strategies to reduce the number of the financially underserved in the U.S.  As part of our global commitment to advance financial inclusion, Visa is pleased to sponsor the event and contribute to the best practices and payments expertise being shared through speaking on two panels: “Putting the Consumer First: Designing, Delivering, and Identifying Quality in Prepaid” and “Connecting with the Consumer: Branding Strategies for building Trust with the Underbanked Consumer.”

Around the world, an estimated 2.5 billion adults—primarily in developing countries—lack access to formal financial services. However, financial exclusion is not a challenge absent from even some of the world’s most advanced economies. Surprising to some, one in four U.S. households has little or no access to basic financial services.[1] Without this access, the financially underserved are typically reliant on a cash-and-carry lifestyle, without a safe or convenient way to save money, pay their bills or get paid.

Visa is committed to being a part of the financial inclusion solution. At the core of our commitment is our work with our clients to use our products, services and network to improve the lives of the underserved through access to electronic payments. In the U.S., we believe our reloadable prepaid cards provide an important channel for the underserved to gain access. These cards may be purchased by an individual, provided by a government agency for social aid or offered by an employer as a payroll option. Prepaid cards — often an individual’s first point of access to formal inclusion —  offer a safe, reliable and convenient way for people to pay, get paid, store and manage their money.

Beyond our products and network, Visa complements our inclusion commitment by engaging in partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations and multi-lateral organizations to collaborate on strategies and initiatives that address many of the challenges to greater inclusion, such as our involvement in the programs of CFSI. We also deliver extensive financial literacy programs throughout the U.S., as we believe that having the knowledge to understand and use a financial tool responsibly is as important as having access to the product itself. Visa’s financial literacy programs, like Practical Money Skills for Life, help U.S. consumers become more financially savvy by providing free educational resources, including personal finance articles, games and lesson plans.

Financial inclusion in the U.S. is a national challenge not to be overlooked. As leaders this week and throughout the year discuss new strategies and innovation designed to close the financial inclusion gap, Visa remains committed to working with our partners to develop solutions to this important social and economic issue.

 


[1] Press Release: New FDIC Study Shows One in Four U.S. Households Currently Unbanked or Underbanked http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2009/pr09216.html

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Posted by: Brian Triplett, Head of Commercial & North America Prepaid, Visa on June 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

Jun 14, 2012

Visa Headlines Panel on Olympic Marketing Campaign at Cannes International Festival of Creativity

With less than 50 days until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the halls at Visa are buzzing with excitement. We launched Go World, our global and “social to the core” Olympic Games-themed campaign last month, and millions around the world are joining in a collective “virtual cheer” to support the inspiring Team Visa athletes that will be competing at the Games.

We have already seen tremendous interest and engagement across channels in 70+ markets around the world. People are cheering by submitting photos and videos on Facebook, by tweeting #visagoworld on Twitter and by watching our commercials and athlete training videos on YouTube. Like all of us, it seems that the world has caught Olympic fever.

Next week, on June 18, we’ll share some of the secrets behind the making of this campaign during a panel session at the Cannes Lions 59th International Festivity of Creativity. I’ll be proudly sharing the stage with Timo Lumme (Director of Marketing, International Olympic Committee), Patrick O’Neill (Executive Creative Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day), and Olympic legend Nadia Comaneci to talk about “The Making of a Global Olympics Marketing Campaign — Right Approach, Right Message, Right Time.”

We’ll cover the strategy, planning and execution of a global Olympics marketing campaign, with an emphasis on how Go World maximizes consumer impact and brand relevance. And we’ll show how Visa is using social media and real-time storytelling to reach and engage with fans on a worldwide scale.

If you are attending the Cannes Lions 59th International Festivity of Creativity, stop by and listen to our panel discussion. However, if you can’t make it to Cannes, you can follow @visanews for updates and be sure to include our campaign hashtag #visagoworld in any event-related tweets.

And don’t forget to join our global cheer movement and voice your support for Team Visa athletes that are sure to capture our hearts and imagination at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Go World!

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Posted by: Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer on June 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

Jun 13, 2012

Money Management Mahatmas Meet in Mumbai

India’s emergence as a financial powerhouse is not news, as the nation’s annual GDP growth has long made developing countries envious. But with this growth, India’s need for financial literacy has also ballooned.

A new study of over 25,000 people worldwide released by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine and Visa showed that India ranked near the bottom of the 28 nations surveyed in financial literacy. Interestingly, Indian parents seem oblivious to this deficiency, with a majority in the Financial Literacy Barometer saying that their teenagers and young adults understand money management basics and are adequately prepared to manage their own money. This alarming disconnect only reinforces the need to enhance the financial education levels in India.

The good news is that Indian leaders from the government, NGO and financial services sectors agree. At the inaugural Visa – Financial Times Financial Literacy Forum held earlier this month in Mumbai, Uttam Nayak, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa Inc. welcomed participants and outlined Visa’s commitment to advancing financial education in India and globally.

The thought-leaders gathered at the Forum to hear Deputy Governor K.C. Chakrabarty of the Reserve Bank of India deliver a stem-winder of a speech on the importance of bringing personal finance education to the country.

Dr. Chakrabarty laid out his belief that after financial literacy comes financial inclusion, financial protection and then financial stability. And tackling the parental issue head-on, the Governor affirmed his belief that financial literacy must start with children.

We strongly agree with Dr. Chakrabarty that children must be taught early and often about personal finance. Nowhere is that need greater than in India, where the Barometer found parents talk to their children just 10 times a year about money, far below the global average of 19 times.

Watch an overview of the Mumbai Forum below.

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Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

Jun 6, 2012

Visa Launches Marvel Avengers Comic in Egypt

After a tumultuous past year in Egypt, people here have been increasingly eager to get their lives back to something resembling ‘normality.’   Part of that effort has been the resumption of the annual Spring Carnival at Al Alysson International School, a highlight in the academic year for Cairo families over the past decade.  Alysson’s 2012 carnival, held last month, brought in kids of all ages and parents keen to get on with their lives after the disruptions of the previous year.

Weeks of preparation for the launch of the Visa-Marvel Financial Literacy comic book proved fruitful as Visa’s booth was by far the most sophisticated and had an eye-catching display at the Spring Carnival. It was also one of the only booths giving away free goodies for the children, which included the Marvel Avengers comic books, Financial Football DVDs and Spiderman masks. Beside the booth, the team had Spiderman costumes for the kids to put on and take photos in front of the rest of the Avengers superheroes, while the parents were given a brief about the comic books and Visa’s latest financial literacy initiatives. The younger kids automatically found the booth intriguing and were excited to dress up as Spiderman and look through the comic books, though some of the older kids thought they were ‘too cool’ for such childish things as comics. Tearing them away from their Blackberries and their Facebook status updates, we talked to them about the Avengers movie.

If the students weren’t too old to be excited about the movie, they certainly weren’t too old to enjoy the classic platform for superheroes in the Marvel comic book. While at the booth, students played Financial Football, which was set up on TV screens. One parent commented that the ‘New Egypt’ required an overhaul of the educational system, which included implementation of a financial literacy course. On seeing the personal management skills training, one teacher said ‘Wow! If I can find a way to teach kids financial literacy and entertain them, my work is complete!”

While hundreds of thousands were camped out in Tahrir Square during the same weekend, we were happy with the 800 attendees who visited the booth and gave us hope that life was ‘sort of’ back to normal, even for one day.

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Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on June 6, 2012 at 10:08 am