Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Aug 26, 2011

PIN largely unaffected in U.S. migration to EMV chip

Earlier this week, the American Banker covered Visa’s EMV chip announcement in a story titled “Visa’s Plan to Drop PINs Leaves Some Concerned About Security.”  This headline is misleading as Visa will continue to support PIN authentication, so let me clarify. 

Point-of-sale online PIN verification for debit transactions will continue to exist in the United States for some time. In fact, Visa expects that merchant and/or issuer preference for PIN verified transactions may become more prevalent in the U.S. debit category given recent regulation. Moreover, we recently made announcements to our U.S. clients regarding 2012 enhancements to our core Visa-branded debit product to improve the performance of PIN verified transactions.  

While PIN does provide some fraud protection for lost and stolen cards and has proven to be an effective fraud deterrent in international markets where trasactions are sometimes approved “offline,” PIN will forever remain a static data element.  And we continue to believe that long-term static data elements, including PIN, can create an increased risk for fraud.  An increase in ATM fraud could occur in cases in which the PIN is stolen along with cardholder account information. Long term, we will focus on risk-based and dynamic ways to verify the cardholder, such as one-time passcodes that are sent by text or email for high risk transactions.

Additionally, the article stated that “In a departure from nearly every other global market that has switched to EMV cards, which are commonly called chip-and-PIN for their most prominent security feature, Visa’s plan excludes PINs.”  As already noted Visa supports online PIN as a cardholder verification method; however, it’s important to note that there are more EMV markets that have implemented chip and signature than chip and PIN.   

Bottom line: Visa will continue to support online PIN as a cardholder verification method for debit transactions in the U.S., and at the same time encourages the move toward future adoption of dynamic cardholder verification methods.


Posted by: Eduardo Perez, Global Payment System Security on August 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Aug 18, 2011

Fortune favors our new Singapore office

Local Visa employees and officials recently celebrated the opening of Visa’s new Singapore hub.  Read more about the exciting expansion in this article from our employee website.

July 29 was an auspicious day; a lion danced to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits , ceremonious ribbons were cut and the lion culminated its dance to “pluck the greens”, or bring good fortune. Visa’s new Singapore hub at 71 Robinson Road was officially open.

Quek Swee Kuan, Assistant Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) joined the ribbon cutting team to celebrate the opening. The EDB is a strong partner for Visa’s operations in Singapore. Joan Buse and Megan Lim also participated to provide us good luck. 

Located at the heart of Singapore’s business district and within walking distance of many of our clients, the office on Robinson Road keeps us close to the organizations we support and helps us to forge deeper relationships with them. The move was necessary to house an expansion in Visa staff on the back of excellent growth in the region and modernize the facilities

As Elizabeth put it, “Singapore has really become Visa’s home for the vast majority of our operations outside the United States. In less than four years, the number of Visa employees in Singapore has grown significantly. This is a tribute to the strength and potential growth opportunity of our business.”

We also seized the occasion to publicize the growth in our payment volume across Asia Pacific – up 13.3 percent to $929 billion in the year to June 30.

The event received excellent press and television coverage, much of it focusing on Visa’s push to displace cash with debit and prepaid cards. Several media outlets quoted Elizabeth saying, “Our primary competition is cash. People very often hear Visa and think credit card but our fastest-growing products in Asia Pacific are debit and prepaid cards.”

The move to Robinson Road, named after Sir William Robinson, Governor of the Straits Settlements in 1877, is helping to fuel the growth in digital currency and has proved very popular among staff. Senior Executive Rene Ho observes that, “People have settled in well and there has been very positive feedback.”


Posted by: Visa Corporate Relations Team on August 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

Aug 16, 2011

“Flying” Cashless Taxis in Hong Kong

Bringing convenience and value-added services to Hong Kong taxi drivers and their passengers

Six weeks after the first fleet of high-tech taxis featuring AutoTAXI (Autotoll Intelligent Taxi Calling Service) hit the streets of Hong Kong, seven more taxi companies are now partnering with Autotoll to have the AutoTAXI system installed. AutoTAXI, a new service model for Hong Kong’s taxis, is a collaboration between Autotoll, Dah Sing Bank and Visa.

These high-tech taxis offer a range of services that benefit both drivers and passengers, including an intelligent dispatching service – that allow passengers to book a taxi via phone – and the first commercial payment card acceptance in Hong Kong taxis. We are targeting to have 500 taxis featuring AutoTAXI on the streets of Hong Kong in the next few months. Taxis using the service can be easily identified. For a promotional period, participating taxis will carry unique wings mounted on the rooftop lightbox, making them easily identifiable as “flying taxis”.

These taxis exclusively accept Visa card payment using either contactless Visa payWave or conventional chip and magnetic stripe cards.

Watch the video that is currently playing in more than 100 taxis.


Posted by: Corbin Sun, Acting Country Manager, Visa Hong Kong and Macau on August 16, 2011 at 8:48 am

Aug 10, 2011

Visa Found the Most Trusted Brand in Mobile Payments

Ad Age reports that Visa is the most trusted brand in mobile payments, according to a national consumer study conducted by Ogilvy & Mather.


Posted by: Ryan Donovan, Corporate Relations on August 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

Aug 9, 2011

Industry Applauds Visa’s Decision to Speed Up Acceptance of EMV Contact and Chip Technology in U.S.

As Ellen Richey pointed out in her blog post earlier, Visa today announced plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the United States, working to drive a speedier adoption of chip card and mobile payments.  We are confident that this is the right time for contact and contactless chip technology to take hold in the U.S., and the programs we are announcing are designed to help the marketplace move in that direction. Throughout the day, we were glad to see that industry analysts and experts voiced their agreement that the U.S. is ready for this technology:

In articles appearing in the New York Times and Network World, Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the SmartCard Alliance, said that Visa’s move was the “ignition point” that was needed to spark a migration to the technology in the United States, because merchants have been waiting for a road map from card companies as to what technologies to invest in. “Now that Visa has signaled that the future will include contact chips and mobile contactless payments,” he stated, “they know what the next generation of payments will look like.”

George Peabody, Director of Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, said in a blog post that EMV “is finally getting an endorsement and a strong nudge for its deployment into the U.S. market” and that Visa’s announcement “means merchants can accept both cards and, more importantly, transactions originated by NFC-equipped smartphones.” 

James Van Dyke, Founder and President of Javelin Group posted on his blog that he finds today’s announcement “quite compelling because it includes pragmatic and long-term incentives for major camps in the card payments industry.”  He said he was “impressed with Visa’s announcement because they’ve communicated specific incentives aimed at changing the behaviors of card-issuing banks, merchants, and merchant-acquiring banks in an effort to get cardholders to go chip (and eventually, mobile).”  

Stay tuned as we take another step in carrying payments into the future.


Posted by: Sandra Chu, Visa Corporate Relations on August 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Aug 9, 2011

Visa Announces Plan to Drive Chip Card and Mobile Payment Adoption

I’ve often been asked if the United States will ever adopt EMV chip technology as many other countries have. My response has been, it’s not a question of “whether” the United States will begin to use chip technology but “when” and “how.”

At Visa, we have believed for some time that markets need to move toward dynamic authentication in order to carry payments into the future. As chip technology has been adopted  around the world, debate has raged over whether the required investments are justified for the U.S. as well.


Posted by: Ellen Richey, Chief Enterprise Risk Officer on August 9, 2011 at 5:50 am

Aug 2, 2011

Learning from the Tooth Fairy

From Time Magazine, to the Washington Times, to the Denver Post, to, there has been widespread coverage in the past week about a recent survey we released showing that the amount the Tooth Fairy leaves children has declined by 40 cents, to $2.60 per tooth in 2011.

Aside from stirring up water cooler and book club conversations over the appropriate amount to leave under the pillow for a loose tooth, I’ve been asked repeatedly: ‘Why does Visa care about the Tooth Fairy?’

The answer is simple: money left by the Tooth Fairy presents an ideal teachable moment for parents to discuss money management with their children.

When a child discovers that her tooth has been replaced in the dead of the night with money, that cash has far more value to her than its official worth as legal tender. Regardless of the amount, it is, by definition, magical. And while a check from the grandparents might by welcomed and generous, there is no mystery or fantasy surrounding it.

Recognizing the power of the Tooth Fairy’s largess with my own two children (who give me breathless, hourly updates whenever a tooth shows the slightest hint of wiggling) we decided to arm parents with a few conversation starters they can use with their own kids.

Many parents don’t know how or when to begin talking to their kids about money and the Tooth Fairy gives us a perfect opening. Even asking simple questions like the following can help instill your family’s financial values:

  • What do you plan to do with the money?
  • Do you want to save some of it for that toy you’ve been wanting?
  • What about setting some aside for charity?

If the Tooth Fairy can help launch a few more children on their way to a lifetime of successfully managing money, it’s well worth the effort.


Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on August 2, 2011 at 9:26 am