Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


May 31, 2012

Pathways to an inclusive cash lite world


 By David Porteous, Bankable Frontier Associates

David Porteous, founder and director of Bankable Frontier Associates, shares his perspective on the importance of scale and interoperability as catalysts for financial inclusion. His consulting firm is dedicated to eradicating the barriers that prevent the poor from accessing  financial services, and they partner with us in our efforts to promote financial inclusion. 


Posted by: David Porteous, Bankable Frontier Associates on May 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm

May 25, 2012

Celebrating Small Business Success

We all interact with small businesses every day.  Whether visiting your local dry cleaner, or eating at your favorite local restaurant – small businesses drive the American economy.  At Visa, we appreciate the importance of small businesses to our nation’s economy and we’re committed to continuing to play a vital role in their success. While small business owners service their customers every day, the month of May – often referred to as Small Business Month – gives us a chance to pay special tribute to their achievements and honor their hard work.

From San Francisco to Washington D.C., we were proud to show our support for small businesses at several events. In San Francisco, Visa sponsored the San Francisco Business Journal’s Small Business Breakfast Summit earlier this month and hosted workshops on social media and mobile technology during San Francisco’s Small Business Week. In Washington D.C., during the SBA’s National Small Business Week conference, Visa hosted the Champion Awards Dinner honoring individuals and organizations dedicated to supporting small businesses.

Throughout the events, we connected with hundreds of small business owners and were inspired by their stories. Demonstrating passion, perseverance and dedication, they reminded us why they are the backbone of economies around the world. At Visa, we celebrate the achievements of small business owners worldwide and we are excited to be a part of their continued success.

To learn more about how Visa supports small businesses, visit


Posted by: Sarah Toffoli, Visa Corporate Relations on May 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

May 23, 2012

Digital Wallet Security

The concept of “digital wallets” has been in the news quite a bit lately. There are a number of wallet service offerings in the market today allowing consumers to shop more conveniently from their computers and mobile devices.

The opportunities for more convenient payments through a wallet service are endless – receive alerts about account activity and spending, store digital receipts and warranty information, and track and spend rewards or loyalty programs to name a few.

While Visa works to ensure emerging payments like digital wallet services use advanced security technology to protect consumers, it’s also important that consumers understand what they must do as users to protect themselves from fraud.  That’s why Visa developed a series of best practices called Digital Wallet Security: Just “LOK” It.

Briefly stated, there are three letters to keep in mind in order to “L-O-K” access to your money and keep it safe:

  • Lock it down – Protect (physically and with passwords/passphrases) the devices you use to access your payment options: personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Only you access sensitive information – Safeguard sensitive data, including user names, passwords, PINs, passphrases and answers to security questions.
  • Know who to call – Before anything happens, know who to call if your digital wallet were to be compromised.

Knowing how to better protect your digital wallet will give you greater peace of mind and help you get the most out of the coming revolution in mobile commerce. Take a few moments to review the Just “LOK” It information at


Posted by: Eduardo Perez, Global Payment System Security on May 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

May 22, 2012

Industry Insights: Ken Paterson, Mercator – Part 2

Following our last video post with Ken Paterson, VP of Research Operations at Mercator Advisory Group, in which he discussed payment solutions for emerging markets, we now bring you the second part from our meeting with him. In today’s video, Ken discusses the importance of consumer education around electronic payments as a means to build trust in developing markets. Ken has over 25 years of experience in financial services market research, and his payments-related expertise ranges from product development and positioning to assessment of international payment system opportunities. For more information about how Visa is approaching financial inclusion in emerging markets, click here.


Posted by: Erika White, Visa Corporate Relations on May 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

May 17, 2012

Industry Insights: Ken Paterson, Mercator – Part 1

Visa met with Ken Paterson, VP of Research Operations at Mercator Advisory Group, to discuss his perspective on payment initiatives in emerging markets. Ken has over 25 years of experience in financial services market research, and his payments-related expertise ranges from product development and positioning to assessment of international payment system opportunities. In this video, Ken comments on potential payments solutions for developing markets, in particular mobile payments and prepaid programs. For more information on Visa’s initiatives in emerging markets, please see our news about a partnership with Orange, which will offer consumers access to mobile prepaid accounts in African and Middle Eastern countries as well as other press releases.


Posted by: Erika White, Visa Corporate Relations on May 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

May 17, 2012

PlaySpan Joins TiECON as a Silver Sponsor, Adds New Customer

This week PlaySpan, Visa’s online monetization subsidiary, will have a significant presence as a ‘Silver Sponsor’ at the 20th annual TiECON conference on May 18th. As part of our participation, I’m looking forward to joining a host of industry experts on a panel called “Social Gaming: The Next Frontier?” on Friday the 18th at 11:15 a.m. in the Mission City ballroom at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

PlaySpan’s presence at the conference brings a long history of in-game monetization expertise to the show, with our Monetization-as-a-Service platform, UltimatePay, designed to enable publishers and developers to quickly monetize their products.
In tandem with PlaySpan’s presence at one of the most influential conferences for entrepreneurship, today we announced that Digital Chocolate has tapped PlaySpan’s UltimatePay platform to drive the monetization for all its games distributed outside of social networks. 

Digital Chocolate is a fast-growing cross-platform social games company. Adding our UltimatePay payments solution is intended to help them further monetize their top games, and drive user engagement in global markets around the world. 

Known for games like Zombie LaneArmy AttackMillionaire City, and MMA Pro Fighter, Digital Chocolate is planning to deliver the PlaySpan monetization experience to a broad group of gamers through its portfolio of more than 100 award-winning games.


Come join PlaySpan for the social panel at TiECON this week and learn more about social gaming, PlaySpan’s role in the in-game monetization space, and how our relationship with Digital Chocolate is evolving. 


Follow us on Twitter at @PlaySpan and share your thoughts using the #TiECON hashtag.


Posted by: Karl Mehta, founder and CEO of PlaySpan, a Visa company on May 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

Category: Uncategorized

May 11, 2012

Giving financial literacy the attention it deserves


Occasionally I will be asked why we work with NFL players to promote financial literacy. In addition to the obvious tie to our Financial Football game, the reality is that this is an issue everyone agrees is important but yet it so rarely rises to the level of garnering mainstream attention. Football players can cut through the din of information barrage we subject ourselves to and get that elusive attention.

So we partner with thoughtful athletes like Matt Stafford of the Detroit Lions and London Fletcher of the Washignton Redskins who recognize the crucial need to help Americans of all ages learn more about sound money management. They harness their own celebrity to demistify a subject that has far too many of us scared into inaction.

And yesterday Messrs. Stafford and Fletcher went to the White House to speak at the Financial Capability and Empowerment Summit. We were invited to showcase the Financial Football game at the White House Summit, a true honor, and asked Fletcher and Stafford to join us. The fact the Administration is even holding such a Summit is genuinely impressive and the day’s focus on delivering tangible results made it all the more impactful.

Before their White House appearance, Fletcher and Stafford took time to visit the Pentagon, where, with Rep. Gary Peters and Navy Federal Credit Union, they spoke to a group of our troops about financial education.

When they talk about financial literacy, Fletcher and Stafford do no preach from on high. Like all of us they have made mistakes with money.  But unlike most of us, they were willing to subjugate their pride and talk about it openly with others, sharing with both the financial and political titans gathered at the White House, as well as with the enlisted men and women at the Pentagon.

It is selfless acts like this that makes them perfect ambassadors for financial literacy.


Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

May 9, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years of Banking the Unbanked

Ten years ago today the world’s first mobile financial service in a developing economy went live. Launched by Celpay in Zambia in 2002, and powered by Fundamo, a Visa company, the pioneering service ushered in a movement that has revolutionized the way financial services reach unbanked and under-banked populations.

As the mobile financial services community celebrates 10 years of banking the unbanked, we wanted to take a moment at Visa to recognize the progress that has been made. In 10 years, 100 million people have been newly “banked” using mobile technology. That forecast is expected to double over the next two years.

Celpay International now provides mobile financial services to consumers and corporate customers. Since its launch, Celpay has processed in excess of $2 billion in mobile payments, expanded into Zimbabwe and Uganda, and counts global brands such as SABMiller, Total and BP as customers.

Those numbers underscore the importance of the work Visa is doing in developing economies to expand the opportunities mobile offers. Visa and Fundamo now offer consumers new payment types and services that are secure and interoperable with existing closed-loop mobile money services. New payment types included global and domestic remittances, eCommerce purchases, and ATM withdrawals.

Most importantly, today’s milestone gives us the chance not only to look back on successes, but also forward to the opportunities ahead. Today, 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services, and have to piece together an array of costly, risky, and inconvenient cash-based options.

While the last 10 years have seen tremendous progress, our hope is that 10 years from today we’ll celebrate even greater momentum.


Posted by: Hannes Van Rensburg, Head of Fundamo on May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

May 7, 2012 Making Next Generation Commerce a Reality

Visa’s mission is to become the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.  Our premise is simple: to deliver the security, simplicity, and personalization merchants, financial institutions and consumers demand as payments technology continues to evolve.

While there are many new players in the payments space, Visa is a trusted brand around the world for the security, reliability and convenience that come with Visa’s 50 years of experience creating one of the largest payments networks in the world – capable of processing up to 20,000 transaction messages per second. We think we do the hard part better than anyone else – and our reputation is proof of that. by Visa is our new service designed to take the friction out of commerce wherever consumers shop – online today, and soon via mobile device or at a retail store.  Click a mouse, touch a mobile browser, or wave at the point of sale to access any major payment network account – will deliver the simplicity and personalization promised by Internet and mobile payment technologies in ways consumers can trust.

Over the last several months, we’ve launched the website, the Developer Center and have internally tested the service with employees.  We have now reached another milestone with the beta launch of with our first online merchant as we move toward the commercialization of in the United States.

In the U.S., is now available in beta for consumer enrollment and online merchant checkout at Rakuten, a leading retail marketplace with more than 18 million customers. The acceptance mark is now visible on the Rakuten login/checkout pages allowing consumers to enroll Visa and non-Visa accounts in and make online payments with a simple username and password through the merchant’s website.  Users can also set personalized alerts to receive near-real-time notification of transactions on enrolled Visa accounts.

While our focus is currently on the U.S., we are also working on plans for how to scale in additional countries around the globe to ensure that the experience meets Visa’s standards for security, convenience and reliability as it becomes more broadly available.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be adding more top eCommerce merchants that will accept  Rakuten is the first of a group of merchants that will trial enrollment and online capabilities for as we focus on building acceptance among the top eCommerce retailers.  This will ensure that consumers who sign up will be able to use at their favorite places to shop.

Regardless of where a consumer signs up, their information is entered and stored on Visa’s secure servers; they can add Visa and non-Visa accounts from any issuer; and use at any merchant that accepts

We’re excited about the role will play to strengthen the entire commerce ecosystem, making it easier for consumers, merchants and financial institutions to do business with one another.



Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on May 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

May 7, 2012

Visa Introduces Changes to Benefit Merchants & Cardholders


Visa is always looking for ways to help our merchant and financial institution partners to better serve their customers and grow their respective businesses. Today, we announced two changes designed to do just that.

First, starting in October, we are raising the Visa Easy Payment Service “no signature required” transaction limit to $50 for discount stores and grocery stores.[1] That’s twice the current limit of $25 that will continue to apply to the majority of merchant categories. The higher transaction limit will help discount stores and grocery stores to be even more efficient, as well as speed up the checkout process by letting consumers use their cards without needing to sign or enter a PIN. And these merchants won’t be required to issue a receipt on these transactions unless the customer asks.

Why is this change important? Because approximately 80 percent of face-to-face Visa consumer transactions in the U.S.are under $50.[2]

As the $50 limit is introduced, Visa will review merchant, cardholder and card issuer feedback and may expand the higher transaction limit to additional merchant categories in the near future.

Secondly, we announced changes to the dispute resolution process, in order to reduce unnecessary chargebacks and documentation requirements and reduce merchant fraud management costs.

Specifically, starting in April 2013, merchants will be protected from fraud chargebacks on transactions that have been electronically read – that is swiped, dipped in or waved past a card reader. Visa will also eliminate the requirement for our card issuers to ask merchants for a copy of the receipt when a cardholder disputes a transaction.

 These changes are designed to promote faster, more efficient dispute resolution for all participants in our payments system.


[1] Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) 5310 (Discount Stores) and 5411 (Grocery Stores & Supermarkets)

[2] Visa Inc. Data 2011


Posted by: Ted Carr, Visa Corporate Relations on May 7, 2012 at 10:03 am