Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Sep 26, 2012

Money Management Made Easy

Helping college students manage money is an issue for millions of families today. For Japanese student Sho Ninagawa and his parents, Sho’s opportunity to study abroad at the University of Colorado presented a unique challenge with respect to money management. How could they quickly and conveniently provide Sho with funds when needed?  How could he avoid carrying large sums of cash? And how could they help him manage his spending?

A Visa Debit card provided the solution they needed.  The account made it possible to conveniently deposit funds in Japan for his access in the U.S., as well as solve concerns about his safety and the security of making payments—no need to carry large sums of cash that put him at risk of loss or theft, and Visa’s security features protect Sho and his family from fraud.  Plus, his spending could be tracked and managed, easing another parental concern.

We visited Sho and his parents to learn more about their experience with Visa Debit. See how it benefitted them in our video interview.

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Posted by: Lisa Kimberlin, Global Corporate Relations on September 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

Sep 26, 2012

Cash Flow Tops Small Business Owners Biggest Worry List

At a high level, the cash-flow management process appears straightforward: money flows in…and out. However, for small business owners like Tina Roberts and 600 others surveyed for the 2012 Small Business Cash Management Survey conducted by Visa, the process of managing everyday finances and planning for the future keep business owners awake at night.

So, what is one way small business owners overcome this stress? Electronic payments. Survey results show that nearly seven out of ten small business owners (69 percent) who accept and/or use payment cards say cards have improved their cash management process, up from 56 percent since the survey was last conducted in 2010.

Click the video to learn more.

“Successful business owners know that a key component in keeping a business afloat is maintaining a keen eye on the financials and knowing how to manage the peaks and valleys of cash flow,” said Janet Zablock, head of Global Small Business at Visa Inc. “Those who accept electronic payments are reaping the benefits of better financial control, giving them the ability to focus on customer satisfaction and retention.”

For more information on the 2012 Small Business Cash Management Survey, visit http://corporate.visa.com/newsroom/media-kits/small-business.shtml. To learn more about Visa’s suite of small business products and services, please visit www.visa.com/smallbusiness.

Note: The survey, conducted by Survey.com in May 2012, polled 600 small business employees/owners with a role in cash management at companies with annual revenue of less than $25 million in the U.S. and Canada. Research is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for financial or other advice.  When implementing a new strategy or practice, you should consult your financial advisors.

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Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on September 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

Category: Uncategorized

Sep 25, 2012

Busting Myths, One Gen Y at a Time

If you were asked to paint a portrait of the modern young adult, most people would list traits such as Smartphone-fanatics, financially irresponsible, perhaps even self-centered. But Visa’s recent survey ‘Connecting with the Millennials’, discovered that these young people are in fact family-centered, aspiring entrepreneurs and financially savvy. The millennials we spoke to save on average up to 32 percent of their income. This can be converted to annual savings valued at USD $300 billion. That is almost on par with the GDP for the United Arab Emirates – an oil exporting nation!

And the best news is? They love using their cards and in particular, their debit card. It keeps them on track financially, they like the convenience of paying bills using their card and a massive 70 percent do so because they don’t want the hassle of carrying cash around with them.

See the infographic below for more on their spending power and why cash is passé for today’s young consumers

For more on the survey visit www.visa-asia.com/millennials


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Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on September 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

Sep 24, 2012

Postcards from Russia: Oh, the Traffic

Getting around in Russia is no joke. It is one part ballet, one part Nascar, and one part slo-mo James Bond. Talk of traffic in Russia is like talk of weather in Chicago; it’s the constant life companion and an easy topic of conversation. Distances in Russian cities are not measured by kilometers or in miles but in minutes and, more frequently, hours.

That is to say that driving in Russia is an art (one perhaps too intense for my easygoing Hawaii driving roots).  A keen practitioner of this art was Mikael, our driver with a fondness for designer sunglasses and shirts, an appreciation for pop and club mixes—and a mobile POS terminal that accepts electronic payments always at the ready.

When we found out he accepted Visa, we couldn’t resist finding out more.

Here’s a picture of our interview with Mikael, which we filmed on a breezy side street in the Sochi. As we talked, he expressed his excitement for the coming Sochi 2014 Wummer Olympics, pride in his home city and the convenience of accepting Visa. Stay tuned for the full interview which will be posted on Currency of Progress.

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Posted by: Noelle Chun, Corporate Relations, Visa on September 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Sep 21, 2012

Postcards from Russia: Meet Elina

Even though Visa’s operations span more than 200 countries and territories, we are all part of the same global family. While modern technology keeps us all connected, it is always nice to meet our global colleagues in person.

The other day we introduced you to Igor Gaidarji. Now meet Elina Bagautdinova. Elina works out of our Moscow office as a senior business leader in Visa Russia’s finance team. She is passionate about her job, helping Visa to comply with finance laws in Russia—that is, in her words, to make sure Visa acts locally even as a global company.

 

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Posted by: Noelle Chun, Corporate Relations, Visa on September 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Category: APCEMEA

Sep 20, 2012

Going Cashless: One Minute With Gordon Cooper

Yesterday we announced Visa’s founding participation in the Better Than Cash Alliance, an initiative aimed at accelerating the shift from physical cash to electronic payments to help advance financial inclusion among the world’s unbanked population.  The Alliance builds upon Visa’s global commitment to financial inclusion, including our work to enable consumers to send, receive and store money electronically in a safe, reliable and affordable way. 

In this video, Visa’s Gordon Cooper shares his own “Better Than Cash” encounter and his thoughts on the challenges impacting cash-based economies. Gordon brings significant experience working with the world’s unbanked leadership  for our emerging markets solutions. Prior to his current role in Singapore, Gordon has been based for Visa in Tokyo London, and Ho Chi Minh City. 

 

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on September 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Sep 20, 2012

Postcards: Fun Facts (and Opinions) about Russia

If you are like me then first-hand exposure to a country can have a sobering and illuminating effect. It’s been a little more than a week since we arrived in Russia, and I feel a lot less ignorant about this fascinating country. Here are just a few of the things I have learned:

  1. Russia is by far the world’s largest country in the world with one-seventh of the world’s landmass, spanning spans eight time zones.
  2. Russia neighbors more countries than anywhere else on earth, touches twenty-two bodies of water and holds twelve seas within its borders.
  3. Russia is home to the oldest mountain range (Urals) and the deepest lake (Lake Baikal) in the world.
  4. Russia is home to the world’s largest number of left-handed people (okay, I made that one up).

On a more personal level, I have observed that Georgian food is among the best I have ever eaten; that Moscow traffic is, to be diplomatic, challenging, and that Visa Russia employees are extremely bright, friendly and eager to engage with their global team-mates.

Which brings us to our next mini-series focusing on employees at our Moscow offices. Today, we meet Maria Vlasyuk , Business Development Manager, who shared her love of the Russian countryside and its cuisine.

 

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Posted by: Richard Martin, Visa Corporate Relations on September 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

Category: APCEMEA

Sep 19, 2012

Visa Joins Global Leaders in New Partnership to Promote Electronic Payments and Improve Lives

Today, Visa joins with six partners from government, the private sector and the international development community to launch the Better Than Cash Alliance. Working together with our other founding members – the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Citi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Omidyar Network – the Alliance will help bring many of the world’s 2.5 billion unbanked people into the financial mainstream by providing them with resources that are safer and more useful than physical cash.

Around the world, governments, the development community and the private sector are making billions of dollars in cash payments to the poor – in salaries, pensions, emergency relief, social aid and more. Making these payments in physical cash or in-kind goods costs poor people time and money and can be unsafe.

To begin with, people in developing countries often have to travel great distances just to collect cash payments. That can mean days away from work and their families and, worse, the risk of being robbed on the journey back. Delivering cash to poor recipients often involves several couriers – and if any of these intermediaries pocket part of the amount, cash is impossible to track.

For anyone without a bank account, cash also is hard to save. Shifting payments to electronic or mobile payments offers more security and convenience – and, more importantly, an onramp to financial inclusion by providing easier access to accounts they could use to save, get a loan or make payments of their own.[1]

At Visa, we are proud of the work we are doing already around the world to help governments enable the electronic delivery of social benefits and other disbursements. For example, in Mexico, Visa works with the government-owned Bank of National Savings and Financial Savings (Bansefi) to distribute social program benefits via Visa debit and prepaid cards to 6.5 million people, giving recipients opportunities to use financial services to save, budget and improve their lives.

In the Dominican Republic, Visa and the government teamed up to boost the national financial inclusion rate and address theft and delay issues of government benefits by distributing reloadable Visa Solidaridad cards. Today, more than 800,000 people in the Dominican Republic receive their aid via Visa card—which also helps provide customers for local merchants as those citizens use their cards to pay for food, fuel and medicines.

Through this innovative partnership, Visa and our partners in the Alliance aim to provide governments, the development community and the private sector with the inspiration, technical expertise and financial support to commit to making the transition to electronic payments and unleash new potential to reduce poverty and promote economic development.

Learn more by visiting the Better Than Cash Alliance website.



[1] As referenced in “The Journey Toward ‘Cash Lite,’” a study by Bankable Frontier Associates and commissioned by the Better Than Cash Alliance.

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Posted by: Doug Michelman, Global Head, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on September 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

Sep 18, 2012

Going Cashless With Aletha Ling

In today’s “Going Cashless” video series, we chatted with Aletha Ling, Chief Operating Officer of Fundamo, a Visa company. Aletha shared her personal perspective on the impact of cash on innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging economies and some of the exciting benefits that mobile money technologies are bringing to people around the world.

 

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on September 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

Sep 17, 2012

Going cashless: One minute with Hannes Van Rensberg

We recently caught up with Hannes Van Rensberg, Visa’s group country manager of sub-Saharan Africa and the head of Fundamo, a Visa company.  Hannes is passionate about the shift toward electronic payments and the value that mobile technology has brought to emerging markets. 

In this brief video, Hannes discusses challenges facing the billions of people living in cash-based economies and the benefits brought by mobile payments technologies.

 

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on September 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm