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PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

May 11, 2011

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Visa Advances Next-Gen Payments Solutions

We have worked tirelessly to accelerate the global shift to electronic payments by integrating VisaNet with services gained through key partners and our acquisitions of CyberSource, Authorize.net and PlaySpan.

Today, as the New York Times reported, we reached a milestone. We announced a cross-channel digital wallet and a range of customized mobile-payment services that address the specific requirements of geographic markets around the world. Both offerings will replicate the ease, reliability and security of Visa point-of-sale payments within traditional and digital eCommerce, mobile commerce and burgeoning social networking commerce environments.

We are working with leading financial institutions and merchants to launch the digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011. It stores Visa and non-Visa payment accounts, supports NFC payments via our PayWave application and delivers various transaction services to accommodate multiple commerce scenarios. We expect key features of the wallet to include:

  • Click-to-buy: Shop conveniently and securely by simply entering an email address, alias or online ID and password, instead of a billing address, account number and expiration date. In addition, Visa is exploring dynamic authentication technologies that will bring added layers of security to online purchases.
  • Preference management: A menu that allows consumers to set preferences for how their wallet will work, allowing them to customize and control the features of their personal wallet from privacy settings to designating which account will be accessed based on merchant type or purchase amount.
  • Merchant offers: A service that allows consumers to personalize their shopping experience by opting-in to receive money-saving discounts or promotions from the participating merchants.
  • Cross-channel payments solution: The wallet consolidates multiple Visa and non-Visa payment accounts and can be used in mobile, eCommerce, social network and retail point-of-sale environments.

We will also work with financial institutions and mobile network operators in certain emerging geographic markets with significant mobile penetration to provide consumers with a secure, reliable and globally accepted form of payment and the ability to transfer and receive funds, manage financial accounts or top-up wireless air time using their mobile handset.

For example, in countries like India and Russia, where card issuance and mobile subscriptions are high, but card usage is relatively low, we will drive account activation and usage by working with financial institutions and mobile operators to link existing card portfolios with mobile devices to give handsets payment functionality.

In countries within Africa and the Middle East where mobile device usage is high and traditional electronic payments infrastructure is less developed, Visa will work with mobile network operators to link new virtual mobile prepaid Visa accounts to mobile phone numbers to enable cash-in, cash-out, personal payments and mobile payments—including bill payments and wireless airtime top-up. Visa also intends to connect “closed loop” mobile money services that today provide basic mobile banking and payments services to unbanked and under-banked consumers to our global, open loop network—VisaNet. The integration will open closed loop systems and provide consumers and merchants with unprecedented scale, functionality and acceptance beyond their existing local geographic footprints.

Across all emerging geographic markets, Visa’s sophisticated payments technology and significant work in establishing global payments standards will aid in navigating the network operators, handset models and operating systems in use globally—helping to enable millions of new and existing Visa account holders to simply use mobile technology for payments services.

We are confident consumers worldwide will chose to adopt our new services over competitive offerings because:

  • Visa’s global payments solutions are convenient, secure, reliable, open and interoperable. eCommerce and mobile devices must work everywhere, every time to be viable payment channels—just like Visa cards do today.
  • Our new digital wallet is the first to deliver a wide range of transaction services and work across various commerce environments.
  • While mobile payments at the physical point-of-sale are generating buzz, our new digital wallet offers a range of payment options and services. In addition to supporting mobile payments through our industry leading Visa PayWave application, our new digital wallet securely stores Visa and non-Visa payment accounts, streamlines online purchases via “Click-to-buy” functionality and enables consumers to receive real-time offers from merchants.

I’m confident our brand, new payment products and services, 50-plus years of payment experience and work establishing global payments standards put us in a unique position to deliver the speed to market and scalable solutions needed to stay ahead of new demands created by the ongoing  convergence of Internet, mobile and electronic payment technologies.

Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on May 11, 2011 at 5:04 am