Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Nov 15, 2013

Corporate Responsibility

Visa Responds to Typhoon Haiyan

Visa Inc. today announced a commitment to help the people of the Philippines following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Visa will make a donation of $200,000 to the Red Cross to support relief and recovery efforts. Visa also will match employee donations to Red Cross relief efforts on a two-to-one basis through mid-December.

Further, in conjunction with its clients, Visa will waive interchange fees on donations made through December 31, 2013 to a select group of major U.S.- and Canada-based charities that are providing support to relief efforts. Eligible charities are:

United States

  • American Red Cross
  • AmeriCares
  • CARE
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Mercy Corps
  • Oxfam America
  • Save the Children
  • US Fund for UNICEF
  • World Vision


  • Canadian Red Cross
  • CARE Canada
  • Humanitarian Coalition Canada
  • Oxfam Canada
  • Oxfam-Quebec
  • Save the Children Canada
  • UNICEF Canada
  • World Vision Canada

Finally, Visa will donate the revenue it generates from eligible contributions to the crisis through December 31, 2013 directly to the Red Cross.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Head of Corporate Philanthropy & Responsibility, Visa Inc. on November 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Nov 4, 2013

Welcome to Visa’s Second Annual Global Volunteer Month!


On November 1st, Visa kicks off of our 2nd Annual Global Volunteer Month. In this focused month of volunteering, employees around the world are finding meaningful ways to give back.

Last year, more than 2,100 employees improved the communities where we live and work, serving over 87 nonprofits in 28 markets spanning 18 countries. This November, we are excited to extend our impact to 23 countries as we focus on needs in our communities—from a team in Singapore that will teach financial literacy to high school students, to employees in Nairobi who will plant trees in a local forest, to Sao Paulo volunteers who will deliver supplies to a local school.  In our headquarters community around Foster City, we have more than 40 events planned, including teams of employees who will be alleviating hunger through engaging with local food banks, beautifying parks in San Francisco, volunteering at local schools and so much more.

Since its launch in 2008, the global Visa Volunteers initiative has been a core component of our Corporate Responsibility program. At Visa, we believe it’s important to enable and empower our employees with opportunities to give back. The Visa Volunteers program helps employees around the world connect with nonprofit partners, create team events and track their volunteer hours. We also recognize exceptional commitment and service through the Visa Volunteer Award, honoring the personal volunteer service of our employees.

It’s going to be a great month, and we look forward to highlighting how our employees have made a difference! Employees can tweet photos from events using the #VisaGivesBack hashtag.


Posted by: Jamie Horst, Corporate Initiatives, Visa Inc. on November 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

Mar 6, 2013

A Proud Day: Visa Named One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies

Visa runs the world’s largest retail electronic payments network, but our business isn’t just about technology – it’s about trust. We need to earn the trust of everyone we partner with and serve, every single day, in order to succeed.

That’s why being named to the 2013 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute is such an important honor for us. It reflects our commitment to the highest ethical standards in everything we do – not just what we say, but what we actually do – as well as our determination to live up to the trust that people all over the world put in our brand.

A leading international think tank, the Ethisphere Institute is dedicated to promoting best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption, and sustainability. As Ethisphere explains, companies that receive the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation “truly go beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate those words into action.”

Visa takes a comprehensive approach to ethical business practices, including industry-leading policies, trainings and programs. Visa also has a Corporate Responsibility program focused on responsible business practices and community involvement, and areas where our business expertise and philanthropic contributions can contribute to financial inclusion and improving humanitarian aid.

Joining this global list of companies dedicated to doing business with world-class ethical practices is, to us, a sign that we are on the right track.

View the complete World’s Most Ethical Companies 2013 list here.


Posted by: Ellen Richey, Chief Enterprise Risk Officer on March 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

Nov 1, 2012

One Day. One Month. One Visa.

Today, Visa celebrates the kick-off of our inaugural Global Volunteer Month. Throughout November, our employees around the world will come together to give back to their local communities through volunteerism.

In 30 offices spanning 23 countries, thousands of Visa employees will be supporting a variety of projects to help those in need and improve our local communities. In Singapore, our employees will volunteer with youth at a local science center. In Johannesburg, employees will be teaching financial literacy to youth. While our employees in Sao Paulo will be collecting and distributing toys to children, our team in Toronto will be volunteering at a local food bank. In our headquarters region of the San Francisco Bay Area, employees will be participating in a number of volunteer events, including projects at local homeless shelters, food banks, job-readiness nonprofits and parks.

Our global Visa Volunteers initiative has been a core component of our Corporate Responsibility program since its launch in 2008. At Visa, we believe in the importance of supporting the local communities and neighborhoods in which we all live and work. Our Visa Volunteers program helps employees around the world find local opportunities, create team events and track their volunteer hours. We also honor our leading employee volunteers with the Visa Volunteer Award, recognizing their personal contributions to their communities

We look forward to sharing with you highlights from the Visa Global Volunteer Month.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on November 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

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 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

Jun 20, 2012

Visa’s Global Approach to Volunteerism

From Japan to Dubai to Mexico City to Virginia, Visa employees around the world are making a difference by giving back to their local communities.

This week, Visa is proud to participate in the [U.S.] National Conference on Volunteering and Service—the largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders in the world. More than 5,000 representatives from the public, private and government sectors are gathering in Chicago for three days of learning, innovation and inspiration. The conference is hosted by Points of Light, Visa’s global volunteer program partner.

One key component of this week’s conference is a focus on corporate employee volunteer programs, with a particular emphasis on corporations activating global employee volunteer programs. With over 7,000 employees around the world, one of Visa’s greatest assets in how we give back is through the time and talent of our employee population.

Our global approach to community service is a cornerstone of Visa’s volunteer program. In 18 Visa offices around the world, the Visa Corporate Responsibility program is helping connect Visa employees to local volunteer opportunities, supported by Points of Light and its affiliate, HandsOn Network. For example, our employees in Singapore have an ongoing volunteer commitment with Mainly I Love Kids (MiLK). Our employees in Miami recently improved Liberty Park by refurbishing playground equipment, while our employees in Johannesburg volunteered at a children’s AIDS clinic. Visa’s volunteer program is designed to have a positive, global impact by inspiring community service at the local level and encouraging service in communities around the world.

As a leader in service sector innovation, Points of Light’s mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to volunteer in their local communities by providing access to tools, resources, and opportunities. We are a proud supporter of Points of Light and look forward to incorporating some of the innovative service ideas featured in this week’s conference into our global employee volunteer efforts.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

Apr 23, 2012

Sixth Annual Financial Literacy Summit in Chicago

Today, we’re once again working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to put on our annual Financial Literacy Summit. At the event, speakers from around the world will be exploring potential solutions to improve financial literacy and discussing the successes and challenges faced in various countries around the world.  This will be the sixth consecutive year that we’ve partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to co-sponsor the Summit, which helps to mark national Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week in Chicago. Highlights of today’s Summit include:

  • The results of the 2012 Global Financial Literacy Barometer from Visa and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. The barometer assesses and ranks the financial literacy levels of people in 28 nations.
  • The release of Visa’s new, free, comprehensive personal finance high school curriculum called the “Practical Money Skills Course,” which covers subjects such as budgeting, saving, loans, insurance and more.
  • A panel presentation on original financial education research that explored ways financial knowledge and behavior can be improved.

To view the full Summit online, visit


Posted by: Erika White, Visa Corporate Relations on April 23, 2012 at 8:34 am

Mar 7, 2012

Empowering Women through Financial Inclusion

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, it is critical that Financial Inclusion be on the global agenda, for enabling women to access tools for financial success – such as a way to pay, store and manage their finances via mobile phone – often is a critical first step to overall empowerment.

Today, approximately 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services, and the majority are women. Being financially underserved means not having a safe, convenient and affordable way to conduct their daily financial lives, such as paying school fees, receiving a government disbursement or sending money to a family member in a rural village. Lack of access to formal financial services also limits a family’s ability to prepare for financial shocks, resulting in tough choices—paying for a daughter’s school fees or putting food on the table—that perpetuate the cycle of poverty.                                  

  Photo credit: Jeffrey Ashe/Oxfam America


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on March 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Dec 2, 2011

The Next Frontier for Financial Education

When I arrived in South Africa for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s conference on financial education I was struck by the contrasts in this fascinating country.

But even more intriguing than the economic, social and topographical diversity was a striking commonality. From the densely packed urban townships, to the opulent Cape Town shopping malls, to the rural farm communities, there are mobile phone towers. They spring up everywhere, even in places without running water or reliable electricity.

I was startled to find that 3G network access was available every place I went, including, at one a point, on a bone-rattling, dusty road miles from any buildings. Being in South Africa it became clear to me the need to also deliver financial education by this ubiquitous tool.

One of the biggest challenges for those of us working to improve financial literacy is how to have this vital information connect with consumers. It has to be relevant, timely and accessible. And it’s ‘accessible’ that is the moving target.

Ten years ago web-based content was often seen as the best way to reach the end user. While traditional computers accessing the Internet are still a powerful tool, mobile phones have become the screen of choice today for many audiences including everyone I met in South Africa.

I am convinced that in places like Africa, the next opportunity in financial literacy is to take the fundamentals of personal finance – budgeting, saving, responsible spending, wise use of credit and access to the banking system – and deliver them on a mobile device at the right time, to the right audience. This won’t be accomplished overnight or by one organization. Working collectively, though, I am convinced we can make it happen.

A mobile phone tower perched on a thatched roof in rural South Africa.


Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on December 2, 2011 at 9:48 am