Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Aug 13, 2012

London 2012

Postcards from London: U.S. Chip Cards Excel In Trials Around the City

Just in time to travel to the London 2012 Olympic Games, my new Visa EMV chip corporate credit card arrived in the mail.  This type of card was new to me,  so I put it to the test in London, where this technology is more commonplace.  One place I tested it out was Upper Playground, a cool store in London’s Soho neighborhood that features the work of local artists.



Making purchases was quick and simple. The main difference was that instead of swiping my card, I inserted it in the terminal.  Then I simply signed for my purchase, just as I normally would in the U.S.

Other American travelers at the Olympics this year are likely to have been carrying their new chip cards with them, too.  That’s because last year, Visa announced plans to accelerate the migration to chip technology in the U.S.  Since that time, U.S. financial institutions have reported issuing an estimated 1.5 million chip cards as of June 30, 2012, and we are continuing to see positive momentum as the industry moves toward more broad-based adoption of this technology.

Why is chip coming to the U.S. now?  EMV contact and contactless technology will help lay the foundation for NFC-based mobile payments, which we expect to take-off in the coming years.  Chip also provides an added layer of security to transactions and enhanced acceptance for Americans traveling abroad.

Being at the center of innovation is nothing new for Visa.  Bringing chip to the U.S. is another way that we are paving the way forward.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

Aug 12, 2012

Postcards From London: Team Visa Thanks You, The Fans

As the London 2012 Olympic Games draw to a close, we wanted to thank you for supporting the Team Visa athletes.  Over the next few days, we will continue to reflect on additional memories from London.

Your cheers helped Team Visa’s athletes  keep their drive and determination alive during their training and competition at London 2012.  But don’t take our word for it–hear directly from the athletes themselves what your cheers meant to them!

Thank you from Michael Phelps, winner of 6 medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games:

And more personal “thank yous” to fans  for the cheers from more Team Visa athletes:

Gold medal winning United States volleyball duo Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings

Australian gymnast Lauren Mitchell

Canadian bronze medal winning swimmer Brent Hayden

Canadian bronze medal winning diver Emilie Heymans

Russian bronze medal winning pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Aug 10, 2012

Postcards From London: The Story Behind Visa’s Real Time Congratulatory Ads

As a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games and a company that has been involved with the Olympic movement for over 26 years, Visa is a passionate supporter of the athletes that compete.  To show out support of Team Visa, we have produced videos that introduced you to athletes like Chinese tennis player Li Na and even videos of athletes thanking you for your amazing cheers!

But during the Olympics, some of our most popular videos have been those Visa created in  real time to congratulate the athletes for their successes at the Olympic Games.  When Canadian diver Emilie Heymans competed and medaled in her first Olympics, we produced a video entitled “Congratulations Emilie” that ran on Canadian television within a matter of hours.  This was followed up by similar ads for medalists Michael Phelps and Mark Oldershaw, among others.

We sat down with Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products at Visa, to understand the strategy and planning required to create the ads and get them broadcast on TV–all in 4-6 hours from the time a Team Visa athlete wins a medal.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Aug 10, 2012

Postcards From London: Buying Coffee With An Olympic Icon

For fans of the Olympic Games, there will always be memories that stand out and stir emotional responses. For many Americans, one iconic memory is of Kerri Strug, performing through the pain of injury to complete a vault that helped the United States women’s gymnastics team to win a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.



We were able to spend some time with Kerri in London, and her pride in the performance of members of the 2012 team was obvious and her passion for the Olympics was contagious. And in preparation for a long day of interviews and appearances, we took the time to buy Kerri coffee using the mobile payment application we were testing around London. And given my hectic schedule running around London during the Olympics, better make that two!


Kerri Strug Mobile Payments Demo


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Aug 9, 2012

Postcards From London: Celebrating Medals and Memories With Misty and Kerri

For Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, the London 2012 Olympic Games meant another chance to play together, another chance to win close matches and another trip to the medal stand to be awarded their third straight Olympic gold medal in women’s beach volleyball.

The longtime partners and Team Visa athletes were able to relax and reflect on their many accomplishments, and Visa was on hand to capture their heartfelt reaction as they saw their very own real-time  “Congratulations” commercial for the first time:


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Aug 9, 2012

Postcards From London: The Business of Sposnorship

With the London 2012 Olympic Games well underway, Visa’s presence in London can be seen at every turn. There have been a lot of conversations about the role of sponsorship around an event of truly “Olympic” proportions. It takes a lot of planning and hard work across many teams at Visa–and the hard work is not going unrecognized. A report out today from Brand Interactive entitled “Winning Olympic Sponsors” puts Visa well ahead of other Olympic sponsors in public perception of our brand due to large part to successes in Visa TV spots and social media wins.

We caught up with Kevin Burke, Chief Marketing Officer of Core Products at Visa, to gain insight into the value that sponsorship of the Olympics offers to Visa and the details the are involved with supporting one of the largest global events in 2012.

One of Kevin’s favorite locations in London to see the great visuals that comprise the Visa sponsorship campaign is at Westfield Shopping Center, which hosts a great digital interactive billboard and stories-high images of Team Visa athletes.

So keep cheering for Team Visa athletes and congratulations to all those at Visa who have supported our sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games!


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

Aug 8, 2012

Postcard from London: Excited Olympic Travelers from Around the World

The spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games is alive and well!  The sun is shining,  the fans are cheering and the athletes are realizing their dream of competing on behalf of their country.

We wanted to capture some of that excitement, so we set out on the streets of London to talk to Visa cardholders from around the world.  We asked them to share their thoughts about the Olympic Games,  supporting their countries and athletes, shopping and their overall experience using their Visa cards.

We also took a minute to demonstrate the Olympics-themed Visa payWave application showcased on the new Samsung S III, giving them a glimpse into the future of mobile payments.

Thanks to the fans for making this video possible!


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Aug 7, 2012

Olympic Games Fever is on the Rise as International Travelers Spend More Than $1.4 Billion on Their Visa Accounts While in the UK

International travelers to the London 2012 Olympic Games are watching their athletes achieve greatness in competition, while spending greatly on their Visa accounts.  According to Visa, excited fans have spent more than $1.4 billion since the opening week of the Olympic Games (July 23- August 5).  The international tourism spend in the U.K. is being driven by spend on “Services” ($139M) and “Entertainment” ($107M), followed by spend on “Airlines” and “Clothing.”

At the halfway point in the games, the United States is still leading with the highest international travel spend, reaching $91M, followed by Japan ($47M) and France ($45M).

Central American athletes have begun to stand out at the games, while international travel from their home countries has also stepped up.  The Honduran men’s soccer team defeated the favored Spanish team in a thrilling one-to-zero victory, while Hondurans increased their travel to the U.K. by 629% over 2011 (for the week ending August 5).  Nicaragua followed closely behind with a 390% increase in travel the same week to the Olympics, where they cheered for Osmar Bravo’s boxing win, the first for a Central American country.  Not to be overlooked, Russian travelers helped acknowledge women’s gymnast Aliya Mustafina’s gold medal on the uneven bars through a 30 percent increase in travel spend for the second consecutive week.

With more than 140,000 retail locations throughout the U.K. (including 5,000 London taxis and 3,000 point-of-sale locations at Olympic Games venues) accepting Visa PayWave-enabled cards and phones, it’s never been easier to pay-and-go, in time for the next event>

For more information on Visa travel products and tips, visit


Posted by: Ryan Donovan, Corporate Relations on August 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Aug 6, 2012

Postcards from London: Showcasing the Future of Mobile Payments

In town to showcase the future of mobile payments at the London 2012 Olympic Games, we caught up with Visa’s Head of Global Mobile Products Bill Gajda to get his perspective on mobile innovation, address questions around security and even do a live demo at a local store.




Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Aug 6, 2012

Postcards from London: Visa South Africa on Sponsorship and Future of Mobile Payments

I caught up with Mandy Lamb, Visa’s South African Country Manager, who was at the games cheering on several athletes representing her country, including Team Visa athletes, Paralympic swimmer Natalie Du Toit and BMX rider Sifiso Nhlapo. During our chat she shared her perspective on the future of payment technology in South Africa, including mobile and digital wallets and discussed key factors shaping the landscape for the payments in her country.

With a large number of unbanked individuals around the world, Mandy also spoke about how mobile technology has offered a new platform to deliver payments to individuals who never had prior banking relationships. Particularly, she talks about combining Visa’s local market focus with our leadership in innovation to offer solutions that are appropriate for both developed and emerging economies.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm