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PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Sep 15, 2010

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Update from Elizabeth Buse: Dispatch from the World Economic Forum

Greetings from the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China!

This week’s conference was a fascinating and enriching experience for me, as I engaged with technology leaders, business partners, government officials, media and other influencers from around the world to highlight the benefits of digital currency for consumers, merchants, governments and economies worldwide.

Without question, the goals of the World Economic Forum and Visa are strongly aligned, as both organizations seek to promote social development and economic inclusion globally. In fact, on Monday, I participated in a panel discussion which specifically looked at the importance of aligning commercial and societal objectives when seeking to do business in emerging and “frontier” markets around the world.  In short, I made the point that we all need to seek to understand what governments are trying to do, assess the local situation and be prepared to adapt our business strategy accordingly. For those of you who are interested, a webcast of the panel discussion is available.

Not surprisingly, Visa’s future plans for China were a popular topic during several of my conversations this week. So, let me be clear: Visa looks forward to someday playing an unrestricted role in the domestic market alongside other payment companies, broadening the domestic payment choices available to Chinese consumers and banks.

Since establishing our first office in Beijing in 1993, Visa has actively invested in financial institution relationships within China, supporting development of an international acceptance infrastructure, as well as product development and innovation. We believe our relationships with local industry partners like China UnionPay will position us to capitalize on the greater opportunities that will be available as China continues to open its markets.

Visa’s ongoing engagement in China has already resulted in several mutually-beneficial business activities, including deployment of critical payment infrastructure in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai Expo. We are also working with Chinese banks to support dual-branded/dual-currency cards, which utilize the Visa network for transactions outside of China.

Looking ahead, Visa will advance our commitment to China by continuously developing innovative products and services that benefit our industry partners and cardholders in the region. Our Money Transfer program and a dynamic one-time password online payment authentication solution supported by Verified by Visa are just two recent examples.

Bottom line, I’m leaving Tianjin full of enthusiasm and optimism about the opportunity ahead, both to grow adoption and usage of electronic payments globally, and also for Visa’s long-term prospects in China.

Posted by: Elizabeth Buse, Visa Group President, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East & Africa on September 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm