Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


May 26, 2011

More on Mobile

Another busy news day for mobile payments, as Google made an announcement regarding NFC payments. It is certainly news that Google is getting in the game by testing a new payment service…something that we’ve been doing around the world for the past couple of years.   But I’d remind you that launching NFC payments in the US this year was just one small aspect of our recent announcement regarding Visa’s plan to provide a global, comprehensive solution enabling consumers to transact wherever, whenever by using a card, a computer or a mobile device which kicks off later this year.

For our part, Visa is fully embracing the spirit of competition, and we are pleased to see the industry’s growing excitement and investment in the mobile space. I’m confident Visa will continue to lead the way in this important category and we have significant momentum on our side.

The key to our strategy is an open, global approach.

What does that mean? Our mobile solution in the United States  is designed to be used on any mobile network, with any NFC-enabled smart phone, with any financial institution and on any payment product (credit, debit, prepaid). Bottom line:  We are committed to providing consumers with choice by allowing them to make mobile payments with whatever mobile device they choose using the trusted accounts they already have.

Contrast our approach with our competitors’ plans and the fundamental differences become apparent.  

But if you want to just talk about NFC payments, we believe we are ahead of the competition.  Over the past two years, Visa has made tremendous progress:

  • Visa is already working with four of the largest banks in the United States — Bank of America, Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo — to make NFC-based mobile payments a reality today. 
  • Visa’s mobile program is operable today at approximately 300,000 locations worldwide, anywhere Visa payWave is accepted. To see our solution in action, take a look at this video, which shows a program with the New York City subway. But you could just as easily be paying for a taxi ride in Manhattan, or walking into the major fast food restaurant across the street.
  • Visa is not content to just enable NFC payment. We are already working with leading financial institutions and merchants to launch a next generation digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in Fall 2011,  which will make the payment experience easier and more convenient.
  • From the outset, we’ve been relentlessly focused on a globally interoperable solution. We recognize that people travel and pay for goods and services in countries outside their own. That’s why the Visa mobile payment functionality on my phone works just as easily and dependably in Malaysia as it does across the street here in San Francisco.
  • Lastly, while NFC is a critical aspect of our mobile strategy, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. That’s why we’re ensuring our strategy addresses eCommerce, mCommerce, social networking commerce and person-to-person payment environments around the world.

But remember, while NFC payments are important, consumers want a solution that enables them to transact from their home and office, as well as in the store.  Without question, the stakes are high. Mobile technology will transform how people pay for goods and services in the future. I’m confident Visa has the right approach, the best technology and strong momentum to grow this critical segment of our business.


Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on May 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

May 18, 2011

Visa Flies High In New Rankings

We at Visa were pleased to see the company place well in a variety of distinguished rankings recently – Barron’s 500, the Fortune 500, and the BrandZ “Most Valuable Global Brands” ranking. 

Barron’s 500,” which ranks public companies based on cash-flows, returns on investment and sales, placed Visa at #10 this year compared to #165 last year. Visa was listed alongside top ten mainstays such as Apple and Blackrock. This impressive rise was attributed, in part, to Visa’s continually strong earnings and its robust growth, especially internationally. 

Visa also placed #297 on the Fortune 500 list. This ranking evaluates companies based on revenue and profits, and this is the third year in a row that Visa has appeared on the list (we placed #326 in 2010). 

Coming in at #20, Visa also placed well on BrandZ’s “Most Valuable Brands” list. This ranking, which analyzes and ranks the world’s leading consumer-facing brands, also placed Visa as the most recognizable payments company brand in the world. The rankings can be found here:

While there are obviously many factors that go into these rankings, it’s evident that more people worldwide are choosing the security, convenience and efficiency of paying with Visa.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on May 18, 2011 at 2:03 am

May 16, 2011

Reinventing the wheel

One of the challenges facing all of us who work to promote financial literacy is helping connect those who create content, with those who deliver it. At Visa we are largely content creators and we rely on banks, credit unions, NGOs, government, parents and teachers to take our personal finance materials and deliver them to their audiences.

I frequently hear from those on the front line about how hard it can be to find the right content to use. Teachers and parents don’t have weeks to devote to scouring the web for the best content. Neither do government agencies. States in particular no longer have the luxury of reinventing the wheel to create their own programs. In many cases they don’t need to; the high-quality content already exists.

Smart state governments realize that helping their students learn the fundamentals of money management is more important than ever and are looking for innovative ways to teach it at a low or no cost.

Visa has stepped up to the plate by providing free classroom curriculum to states. Our latest partnership is with South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis, who is launching a new program to help teach personal finance to elementary school children in the Palmetto State.

Thanks to Treasurer Loftis, South Carolina will be the first state in the nation to distribute two new personal finance video games we created: Peter Pig’s Money Counter and Money Metropolis. These educational computer games teach kids the fundamentals: from identifying and counting coins, to learning about saving, budgeting and earning.

Starting this week, the Treasurer’s office is distributing free disc copies of the games to every public, private, and charter elementary school in South Carolina. The Treasurer’s impressive outreach is being complimented by a statewide tour of elementary schools to promote the new initiative. From Charleston to Greenville, the Treasurer will be teaching children how to play these new games and providing those schools with tablet computers donated by Visa so they can also play the Android version.

This kind of model partnership brings together an expert content creator and an expert at content delivery, with children and taxpayers being the big winners. No new wheels required.


Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm

May 11, 2011

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, 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.


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

May 5, 2011

Joe Saunders on Mobile and eCommerce Payments

During today’s second quarter 2011 financial results webcast, Visa Chairman and CEO Joseph Saunders highlighted how Visa has been working hard to develop a “Visa-quality” payments solution that brings reliability, security and convenience to mobile and eCommerce environments. Saunders delivered the following remarks excerpted below:

As all of us know, the way people connect and transact across the globe is changing dramatically, driven by two global forces:

  1. The continued secular shift from paper-based to electronic payments that still largely occurs at the physical point of sale; and
  2. The widespread adoption of mobile and Internet technology.

These forces are converging, and consumers and merchants are looking for payments solutions that harness these technologies. To that end, we have been working hard to develop a “Visa-quality” payments solution that brings reliability, security and convenience to mobile and eCommerce environments.

In our view, a globally viable payments solution must have five fundamental characteristics — convenience and simplicity, standardization, interoperability, global accessibility and security. None of the solutions we have seen from competitors are comprehensive enough because they don’t address all of these criteria at once. Visa has long delivered solutions at the physical point-of-sale that passed this test, and we are applying that same standard in the online and mobile arenas.

Look for us to make an announcement on our global eCommerce and mobile strategy later this month.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on May 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm