Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Oct 31, 2012

Visa Inc. Responds to Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was a storm of historic scale that is disrupting the lives of millions of people. Our thoughts are with those impacted as they manage through this difficult time.

As part of our ongoing commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, Visa is supporting humanitarian efforts in the following ways:

Corporate contribution: Visa is making a contribution of $300,000 to the American Red Cross to support immediate relief and recovery efforts.

Employee matching gift program: Visa will match employee donations to disaster relief efforts on a two-to-one basis through the end of November.

Interchange fee waive: As part of Visa’s response, interchange fees on U.S. domestic Visa transactions will be waived through the end of November for a select group of U.S.-based charities providing support to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Eligible charities include:

Finally, Visa also will donate our revenue generated from these eligible contributions to the American Red Cross.

We are hopeful that together we can help recover from this disaster and start the rebuilding process.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Oct 23, 2012 by Visa and U.S. Bank Make It Easier to Shop Online This Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, Visa is committed to delivering the very latest in online convenience and security, where consumers are no longer required to share personal account, bill-to and ship-to information at checkout.

Today, U.S. Bank announced its plan to offer by Visa, streamlining the online holiday shopping experience for their customers using a debit or credit card. Today’s news builds on our integration with Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank, which will bring our wallet service to more than 1.2 million PNC Virtual Wallet customer accounts.

U.S. Bank customers will be able to enroll their existing Visa and other payment card accounts, allowing them to buy presents online by simply entering a username and password at checkout.

Visa’s close relationship with U.S. Bank makes buying tickets to visit family or purchasing that perfect gift online easier than ever, allowing their customers to get what they need, and get on with life.

So put down the car keys, throw a log on the fire and let us help you simplify your holiday shopping!


Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on October 23, 2012 at 8:48 am

Oct 23, 2012

#ConnectingCommerce – A new video series exploring the next generation of commerce

As we continue to push forward with innovating the ways we pay and are paid, today we’re launching a new video series called #ConnectingCommerce. The series will be hosted on Visa’s YouTube page and showcases the progress and benefits of going cashless, especially when it comes to eCommerce and mCommerce in today’s hyper-connected world. This first episode features author David Wolman – interviewed by journalist Mark Veverka – and his views on becoming a cashless economy.

According to Wolman, the benefits of a society without cash are staggering: “Reduced cash-management costs are really just the beginning. One must consider the broad spectrum of socio-economic gains — things like reduced criminal activity of nearly every stripe and the promotion of financial inclusion. Whether we will ever do away with it completely remains uncertain, and in many ways is less critical than the developments that are pushing it toward obsolescence, because those are what really change the way we live. That is true for consumers, merchants, and especially those who for too long have been denied the benefits of money in electronic form.”

Follow along as we post more candid interviews with thought leaders, consumers and payment luminaries. Will killer apps pave the way for a cashless society? What other tools will we need to rid ourselves of cash? Is this cashless society just around the corner?

Stay tuned to find out – and follow us @VisaNews.


Posted by: Erica Harvill, Visa Corporate Relations on October 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

Oct 22, 2012

A Look at Minimizing Our Environmental Impact

A core component of Visa’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives is our commitment to responsible business practices, as demonstrated through areas such as our governance, ethics and diversity. This work also extends to the world around us, as we take steps to understand measure and minimize our impact through environmental stewardship.

Our comprehensive environmental efforts continue to evolve since the formal launch of our Corporate Responsibility program in 2008. For each of the past four years, we have conducted an environmental audit of our operations to understand and identify the issues where we have greatest impact. In response, we have implemented initiatives aimed at our most material impacts, including efforts to reduce energy and water use, divert waste from landfills, ensure responsible paper usage and promote a culture of sustainability among our employees.

We are proud of our results to date. We have earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for several buildings, including LEED Gold for new construction of a U.S. east coast facility, LEED Silver for new construction of a major data center and the prestigious LEED Gold for existing buildings, operations and maintenance (EBOM) for four office buildings we own at our headquarters campus in California. In addition, Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) awarded our Singapore office with the BCA Green Mark GoldPlus Award, recognizing our adoption of green building technologies, achieving an outstanding sustainable environment and incorporating best practices in environmental design and office construction. Employees based in these offices represent a vast majority of our global employee population.

A few recent highlights of our efforts to minimize our environmental impact:


For a company like Visa, energy use is an area where we have the most opportunity—and have had the greatest results—to make a difference.  We continue to upgrade to more energy efficient office lighting (LED and fluorescent) in our buildings worldwide. We also have transitioned more conference room and office lights to motion sensors in 2012 throughout our buildings. In our Bay Area headquarters location, we have implemented a policy where at least 90% of new electronics must meet either Energy Star or EPACT certification standards.


At Visa, like most office-based companies, we use paper in the daily activities of our business. Recognizing the impact of paper usage on natural resources, we have aimed to reduce the overall amount of paper we use and to increase our use of paper with recycled content. Since we became a public company in 2008, our overall paper usage has decreased by 31%. In our fiscal 2011, paper with recycled content represented 96.5% of our total paper usage. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2012, 86% of our paper purchases have contained 35% recycled content or greater. In terms of third-party certifications, our paper sourcing catalog only includes options that are Forest Stewardship Council-certified. We also exclusively use FSC-certified paper for key publications such as our annual report and our Corporate Responsibility brochure.


Finally, we have implemented programs to divert waste from landfill wherever possible. In our U.S. office locations, environmentally responsible waste management programs allow us to compost and recycle waste to the fullest extent possible. We also use environmentally friendly disposable products in many places, including biodegradable cleaning products, compostable food service utensils and containers, as well as paper towels made from post-consumer recycled paper.

At Visa, we have taken a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. Today, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made to reduce our impact.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on October 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

Oct 22, 2012

Browse anytime; buy anywhere

American actress Bo Derek once remarked that “whoever said money doesn’t buy happiness simply doesn’t know where to go shopping”. And it now seems that with the growing popularity of online shopping, for many people, this might just be a click away.

Our latest data from the Visa e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Research 2012[1] shows that people are shopping online regardless of where they are, with 9 in 10 consumers from eight countries surveyed saying they have made an online purchase in the past year. This figure is expected to continue to grow with 92 percent of our respondents indicating that they are likely to shop online in the next year.

The 2012 research has highlighted three key trends propelling the mass adoption and rise of e-Commerce.

Beyond just online payments, online browsing is now an essential part of people’s shopping cycle – driving both online and offline purchases. 98 percent of our respondents said that they have gone online for information-gathering in the past year to increase their knowledge of a product and to decide on a purchase location for items such as books, CDs, DVDs, fashion and groceries.

The ability to access the internet via multiple electronic devices has also contributed to the rise in online shopping. Four in 10 people have browsed online for products or services via a mobile phone or tablet device in the last year, and in countries with a higher penetration of smartphone and tablet devices such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, we have seen browsing on mobile phones exceed 40%. Hong Kong in particular saw 13% of online purchases on mobile phones and 11% on tablets. The growing prevalence of smartphone and tablet use translates to greater online access for a consumer to retailers anytime, anywhere; and as a result, we expect to see more people shopping on-the-go and more often.

We have seen a rise in consumer perception of online security and this has also encouraged more online purchases. This view was held by close to half of those we surveyed, who attributed the shift to the availability of more online payment security features such as Verified by Visa and security around personal and financial information upheld by financial institutions and online merchants.

Armed with a deeper understanding of consumer attitudes to online shopping, Visa strives to continually deliver next-generation solutions that allow consumers to enjoy the same convenient, reliable and secure experience they have come to expect from us – both offline and online.

For the full report on Visa’s APCEMEA e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Research 2012 survey, please visit here.

[1] The Visa APCEMEA e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Research 2012 is an online survey conducted by TNS from March to June 2012. The survey asked over 8,000 respondents from eight countries around the world (Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, Philippines and South Africa) about their online payment attitudes and behaviour. Respondents were internet users (accessing internet at least once a week), aged 18-55 years old, selected based on a soft quota taking into consideration age, gender and annual household income.


Posted by: Maureen Siah, ECommerce, Visa on October 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

Oct 19, 2012

Steeler Mike Wallace, State Treasurer Rob McCord Help Tackle Financial Literacy

A lucky group of Pittsburgh area students from Allderdice High School got the chance to meet local luminaries from sports and politics–and get a head start on learning money management skills that will stick with them for life.

As part of Visa’s “Financial Football” program, Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Mike Wallace and Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord dropped by to share their personal experiences on the importance of money management with students.

The centerpiece of Visa’s nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. This free game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is available to every public middle and high school in the state of Pennsylvania.

So we know who the students in Pittsburgh will be rooting for this weekend.  Who is YOUR favorite football team?  Tell us who you will be rooting for in the comments!

Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Wallace on the importance of money management:


Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord on the value of teaching kids financial literacy:




Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on October 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Oct 18, 2012

Better Than Cash Perspectives: Foundations & Multilaterals

Today we offer two new perspectives on the need to accelerate the shift to digital payments from the recent Better Than Cash launch event in New York City from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ford Foundation.

On the ground in 177 countries and territories, the UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone.

Helen Clark serves as both Administrator of the UNDP and the chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG).  Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served three successive terms (1999 – 2008) as Prime Minister of New Zealand, where she engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres.

Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP and Chair, UNDG


The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Frank DeGiovanni, Director of Financial Assets, Ford Foundation


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on October 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Oct 17, 2012

Attention Small Businesses: We Have a Guide to Help You Plan for the Holidays

Along with strands of lights, bunches of garland, and last minute gift shopping…as a business owner, you also need to think about staffing, marketing ideas and managing cash flow. Bah humbug.

So to help you get started, Visa Inc. teamed up with Rhonda Abrams, respected small business expert and small business owner to create our first Small Business Holiday Success Guide.  The guide is designed to help you navigate some of the most critical holiday hurdles – from social media engagement to money management. We want to help you make this your best holiday season yet!

Cheers to a successful season and a prosperous New Year!

To learn more about Visa’s suite of small business products and services, please visit and follow us at @VisaSmallBiz on Twitter.

For my personal perspectives on topics and trends in small business,  follow me at @jzablock.


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on October 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

Oct 16, 2012

Bringing Small Business Cyber Security Into Focus

Small businesses help drive the U.S. economy. They are a key source of innovation and creativity, a bedrock part of communities, and a leading creator of new jobs. Unfortunately, they can also be tempting targets for cyber criminals. In fact, small businesses represent more than 90 percent of all the merchant data breach compromises reported to Visa.

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) at NASDAQ in New York to open the day’s trading. We came together yesterday to raise awareness about the security risks small businesses face and the solutions and resources available to help them.

Also as part of the day’s events, I joined the NCSA and security firm Symantec to discuss the results of a new small business security survey. Not surprisingly, the results indicated that many small businesses do not feel equipped to adequately protect themselves from cyber threats. This does not have to be the case.

While the theme of our events at NASDAQ was small business cyber security, it is an area of focus for Visa year-round. Visa has developed numerous resources including best practice guides, webinars and a website dedicated to consumer and small business security with simple, cost effective, easy-to-understand steps small business owners can take to greatly improve their security.

But we can’t reverse this trend alone. That’s why we also work in partnership with trusted organizations in government, the private sector and law enforcement to promote cyber education awareness. Yesterday’s event is just one example.  And earlier this month, we collaborated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to release the “Internet Security Essentials for Business,” a free, practical guide for small and medium sized businesses on improving their cyber resilience.

Small business owners have an important role to play as well.  Data security is fundamental to securing payments and maintaining customer trust. The best advice I can give to small businesses is: Be proactive. Don’t wait until you have had a breach or lost valuable data to take stock of your company’s data security practices. Make security a priority and start by taking common sense measures to make your cyber security as strong as the padlock you put on your store’s front door.

Additional resources for small businesses:




Posted by: Ellen Richey, Chief Enterprise Risk Officer on October 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Oct 15, 2012

The Convenience of Clicking

A sense of ease and simplicity exists in uttering the words “I care about you” through a few sentences written on a card or an elaborate bouquet of flowers. The same sense of ease and simplicity should also be applied to online shopping, where we know we all want to get things done as quickly as possible.

Soon, consumers shopping online for the perfect bouquet will be able to checkout hassle-free as 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is added to the  list of leading eCommerce merchants that offer by Visa.

Today, is available at a growing portfolio of leading online retailers, ranging from and to Rakuten and Blue Nile. We’re seeing real traction behind these leading eCommerce sites that are now offering, as consumers and merchants alike have learned to appreciate the security, reliability and convenience of Visa.  Consumers benefit from a digital wallet service designed to make simple and secure online payments, without the bother of constantly entering card account numbers or billing and shipping information.

Let’s face it – life gets hectic. Deadlines loom, obligations arise and others rely on us to get the job done. When it comes time to truly take care of ourselves and our loved ones, we need services that help remove the hassle and allow us to breathe easier.

The joy of online shopping is as much about convenience as it is about the shoes, the flowers, the clothes you are acquiring for yourself or your loved ones, and brings more of these goods into your life, safely, quickly and simply.

Consumers are online, and Visa is where they want to shop. According to a Nielsen Global Online Survey, more than 85 percent of the world’s online population uses the Internet to make purchases – increasing the market for online shopping by 40 percent in the past two years.[1]

So, what are you waiting for? Start shopping!

[1] Nielsen Global Online Survey on Internet shopping habits


Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on October 15, 2012 at 10:51 am