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PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Apr 11, 2013

Research

Portfolios of Rwanda: Insights Into the Lives of the Financially Underserved

Rwanda Partners with Visa to Advance Financial  Inclusion

Last week in Kigali, Visa teamed up with Bankable Frontiers Associates, AFR and Ntare Insights to share the results of new research into the day-to-day lives of financially underserved Rwandans. Utilizing the Financial Diaries methodology derived from Portfolios of the Poor, the research, led by BFA Director and Portfolios co-author Daryl Collins, tracked the daily cash flows and financial activities of 59 individuals from 40 households over a two month period.

In a joint post today on CGAP, Visa and BFA discuss the research, including the finding that in markets like Rwanda, where significant strides have already been made to extend the reach of financial services, the evidence suggests that the challenge for the financial sector is less one of access and more one of relevance.

This new research, Portfolios of Rwanda, is just one aspect of Visa’s work in support of our Charter of Collaboration with the government of Rwanda. The charter, renewed in 2012, is helping to lay the foundation for electronic payments, promote innovation and build capacity to ensure the long-term sustainability of financial systems in Rwanda.

Related videos:
Voices of Inclusion: Daryl Collins
Product Development in Rwanda

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on April 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

Feb 21, 2013

A Penny-Free Canada

 

 

It’s official. As of Monday, February 4, the Royal Canadian Mint stopped distributing pennies to banks and retailers in Canada. Pennies are now more expensive to produce than they are worth and so the move is cited to save Canadian taxpayers around $11 million a year.

A lot has changed since the penny was first minted in Canada in 1908. Today, most people are not in the habit of carrying around much spare change. In fact, according to the Retail Council of Canada only 22% of merchandising transactions in Canada are done in cash, and The Globe and Mail’s Editorial team recently said, “Soon, cash will be the least convenient way to pay for small purchases…we are heading toward a world in which cash will be less and less vital.”

In fact, we found in a recent  Moody’s study commissioned by Visa that the growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added US$9.7 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Canada over the last four years by reducing transaction costs and improving efficiency in the flow of goods and services. Electronic payments allow consumers quick and instant access to their funds. Retailers no longer have to deal with burdens and risks associated with cash. And governments benefit from increased transparency.

As we say goodbye to the penny in Canada, we at Visa are excited to be driving payments innovation and we remain committed to being the best way to pay and be paid.

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Posted by: Michelle Michalak, Visa Corporate Relations, Canada on February 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

Dec 18, 2012

2012: The Year of the Cyber Holiday Season

Today, Visa reported that merchants made more than $50 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders from November 1 to December 16, 2012, up 16% from the same period in 2011. While Cyber Monday remained the busiest online sales day of the year – representing $2.1 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders – Visa’s network has seen seven days with more than $1 billion in online sales during the 2012 holiday season, making this what Visa is declaring the first official Cyber Holiday Season.

In fact, merchants have been increasingly benefiting from eCommerce throughout the holiday season for several years, spurred in part by offering free shipping and other deals well before Thanksgiving when consumers shop online. According to IHS Global Insight, overall U.S. holiday sales growth is expected to be 3.9%, with online sales growth at 17%, indicating that merchants’ online sales continue to outpace in-store purchases and represent a growing portion of all holiday sales.

In addition to facilitating eCommerce, our partnerships allow merchants of all sizes to better serve their customers and grow their businesses during the busiest time of the year. We’ve been doing it since the advent of online shopping and, today, more merchants accept Visa for online purchases than any other payment method (Source: comScore, December 2012).

Accepting Visa online enables even the smallest merchants to reach consumers regardless of their location or time zone, and can increase merchants’ sales, efficiency and security.  Additional benefits of acceptance include guaranteed payment, simplified accounting and the ability to take advantage of Visa’s innovative products and services – such as V.me and Visa Offers – which enable merchants to deliver a streamlined online checkout process and use SMS text messages to send tailored promotions to Visa account holders who have opted in, respectively.

Watch the video below to see Visa Chief Economist Wayne Best discuss eCommerce trends for the 2012 holiday season:

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 18, 2012 at 6:35 am

Sep 11, 2012

Canadian Economy Gets Boost From Electronic Payments (Study)

The benefits of electronic payments for consumers, business and governments are well understood but often difficult to quantify in real numbers. How do you measure the value to consumers who don’t have to worry about not having enough cash in their pockets; or for businesses that lower their cash handling costs and governments that improve efficiencies.

Visa Canada recently commissioned IHS Global Insight, a leading economic and financial consulting firm, to model and measure the total value and impact of electronic payments in the Canadian economy. The results are significant: electronic payments contributed $196 billion to Canada’s economic growth over the past 25 years. That’s equal to nearly 25 percent of the $786 billion in total GDP growth.

Benefits of Electronic Payments in Canada

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

  • Between 1991 and 2010, electronic payments contributed an additional $3.1 billion in economic activity to the travel and tourism sector.
  • Canadian businesses that use commercial card programs can better manage, track and control their travel and entertainment and procurement expenses.  Commercial card programs have been proven to reduce costs by as much as $71 per transaction when compared to a traditional purchase-order process.1 Across North America, commercial card use drives $38 billion in savings for businesses annually.
  • Online activity doubled over five years to $15.3 billion in 2010. In 2010, more than 11 million online shoppers spending an average of $1,460 every year.

To read more about the study, visit Canada’s Currency of Progress site or download the study here .

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Posted by: Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa on September 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm