Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Feb 25, 2013

Mobile

Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Visa, in conjunction with the GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates, is pleased to announce the release of Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets. This new report identifies the financial needs of women living at the bottom of the pyramid; key findings include:

  • Women actively contribute to household income. Seventy-five percent of women surveyed contribute some amount of income, most often from irregular sources like small businesses or agricultural sales.
  • Women use a variety of tools to manage household finances. Nearly 60 percent of women surveyed are saving money for daily expenses and long-term needs, and a full one-third pay the family’s utility bills or make other types of remittances.
  • Women recognize the security and privacy of mobile money. In Kenya, for example, 95 percent of women using mobile remittances rated them as secure and private. In comparison, only half of those using personal delivery of cash as their primary method consider it secure and private.

Additionally, the study identifies actionable next steps for mobile financial service providers that want to expand their business to reach this untapped market, including: increasing mobile access for women; providing better financial literacy services to encourage awareness and understanding; delivering high-quality customer service; and developing targeted solutions to existing barriers faced by women in these markets.

This effort is part of Visa’s ongoing efforts to advance financial inclusion in the developing world. Given that women make up a majority of the 2.5 billion adults who lack access to formal financial products, this report has particular significance for these efforts. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to bring more underserved women into the financial mainstream, thereby reducing the cycle of poverty throughout the world.

For more information on the report, please click here. To read the full report, please visit the GSMA website.

 

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Feb 25, 2013

Postcards from #MWC13: Visa’s Bill Gajda Talks NFC

Kicking off Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona today, Visa’s Head of Global Mobile Products Bill Gajda (@billgajda) particpated on a panel entitled ”Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services”.  Visa will be providing updates through the weeklong event, which is expected to draw 80,000+ attendees from around the world.

Alsong with  executives from Turkcell, ISIS and the GSMA, Gadja discussed the current state of NFC, as NFC services are continuing to be rolled-out by mobile operators, payment providers and handset manufacturers across the world.

In other NFC-related news, Visa also annouced a global partnership with Samsung, embedding Visa’s NFC software in a range of Samsung mobile devices and tablets. 

For more information on Visa’s news and activities at Mobile World Congress, follow us @VisaNews on Twitter and check out our Mobile World Congress Media Kit, which is updated with the latest news, blog posts, videos, fact sheets and photos.

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on February 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Feb 22, 2013

Series Wrap-Up: Empowering Women with Mobile Money

Next week, Visa, the GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) will release research that explores the opportunities for mobile financial services (MFS) to better serve the financial lives of women in developing countries. In advance of the formal report, we sat down with BFA’s research team to learn more about their hands-on experiences in the five countries covered in the report: Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. We’ve shared their stories over the past few weeks in a blog and video series that showcases women’s experiences with mobile money.

The full series, featured on Mobile Payments Today, is worth checking out. It includes:

The official launch of our study, Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets, will take place during Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain on February 26th. Aletha Ling, Chief Operating Officer of Fundamo, a Visa company, will discuss the findings during a panel featuring mobile money experts Roar Bjaerum, Head of Easypaisa, Telenor Pakistan and USAID Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Maura O’Neill. The seminar will be keynoted by Cherie Blair, Founder of The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

The report will be available via GSMA and Visa, and will reveal the combined findings featured in this series of stories from the field. We look forward to sharing it with you.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Feb 22, 2013

Visa Showcases Mobile Payments at Mobile World Congress 2013

Next week, Visa heads to Barcelona, Spain, for Mobile World Congress 2013, the world’s premier mobile industry event, where we will showcase the latest Visa offerings in mobile payments and digital wallets.  The event in Barcelona always proves to be a stage for true mobile innovation – and at Visa, we continue to collaborate with mobile operators, financial institutions, device manufactures and technology providers to transform the way people shop, pay and get paid.

We are truly making mobile payments and digital wallets a reality for consumers around the world.

Our schedule is listed below so please stop by the booth (Fira, Hall 6 – Booth 6E40) and view the latest technology offerings, or join one of our events.  We’ll also be tweeting and blogging (and posting videos) from Mobile World Congress, so send along your questions or comments on trends in mobile.

Visa Press Conference
Monday, February 25, 4:30 p.m. CET
Fira, Hall 6 – Stand 6E40
Visa mobile initiatives are scheduled to be announced during the press briefing, which will be streamed live.
http://livestre.am/1hLDm

Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services
Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Products, Visa Inc.
Monday, February 25, 2:00 p.m. CET
Fira, Hall 4, Conference Village, Auditorium 3
Visa’s Head of Global Mobile Products will discuss the current state of NFC, as NFC services are continuing to be rolled-out by mobile operators, payment providers and handset manufacturers across the world.

Visa and GSMA to Launch mWomen Research
Aletha Ling, Chief Operating Offer of Fundamo, a Visa company
Tuesday, February 26, 12:00 p.m. CET
Fira, Hall 4 – Conference Village, Room CC1 – 1.5)
Visa and GSMA will release a new five-country study, “Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets,” offering insights on how mobile financial services can better support the complex financial lives of women at the base of the pyramid.

Retail Therapy; Enhancing the Shopping Experience through Mobile
Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President of Mobile for Visa Europe
Wednesday, February 27, 4 p.m. CET
Fira, Hall 4 – Conference Village – Auditorium 3
Visa’s Senior Vice President of Mobile for Visa Europe and industry experts will discuss the latest uses of mobile technology in the retail environment.

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on February 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Feb 14, 2013

Empowering Women with Mobile Money: Stories from the Field

Visa, the GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) will soon release the results of a study exploring the role of mobile financial services for women in developing countries. We sat down with BFA Associate Niketa Kulkarni to discuss her experiences conducting focus groups for the study in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Niketa shares her observations of financial management in PNG, a tight-knit environment where it is not uncommon to share money and goods within personal communities. She explores many of the challenges of financial services within this unique culture, and opportunities for how mobile services can help ease some of the burdens.

Watch Niketa share her in-field experience in this video interview and read more on her guest contribution on Mobile Payments Today. This is the fourth in a series of articles exploring mobile financial services in developing economies.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Feb 13, 2013

Visa Accelerates Access to Financial Services

Extending the benefits of electronic payments to more people has always been a priority for Visa. This morning we took a major step toward giving unbanked consumers in developing countries access to the security and reliability of electronic payments and financial services.

Visa today announced the launch of a new service that makes it easy and cost-effective for financial institutions and mobile network operators in developing countries to offer unbanked consumers access to financial services by linking a virtual account that is tied to a consumers’ mobile-phone number. Aircel and ICICI in India, as well as Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Banks in Rwanda are the first to take advantage of this service.

Why is this important? The ability to pay a utility bill, send money to a relative living in another country, or withdraw money at an ATM by simply texting payment instructions to the bank is a game changer for consumers in countries where cash has been the only form of payment, and where paying bills usually means standing in line for hours.

This is just the beginning. More than 2 billion consumers worldwide are unbanked, many of whom own a mobile phone. It is the ubiquity of mobile technology, especially in developing countries, that is finally making it possible for us to extend financial services to the unbanked. Today’s announcement is a great example of Visa’s role in this journey, which is to harness mobile technology to enable financial institutions and mobile operators to drive access to formal financial services and electronic payments.

For more information about Visa Mobile Managed Service, click here.

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Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on February 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Feb 12, 2013

Empowering Women with Mobile Money: Stories from the Field

 In advance of releasing research between Visa, GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) that explores the role of mobile financial services for women in developing countries, we sat down with BFA Research Manager Michelle Hasan to discuss her experiences conducting fieldwork for the study in Kenya.

Michelle reported some interesting findings from Kenya, home of one of the most mature mobile financial services markets in the world. With many people already sending and receiving money via mobile phone, Michelle was able to learn first-hand the likes and dislikes about these services.

Michelle shares her experience in Kenya in a guest contribution on Mobile Payments Today. Also watch BFA Director Daryl Collins share similar feedback from her experiences in Kenya in this video interview.  This is the third in a series of articles exploring mobile financial services in developing economies.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Feb 7, 2013

Empowering Women with Mobile Money: Stories from the Field

In advance of the release of the ground-breaking research between Visa, the GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) that explores the role of mobile financial services for women in developing countries, we sat down with BFA Associate Kristy Bohling to discuss her experiences conducting fieldwork for the study in Tanzania.

Kristy explored the lifestyles of mobile money users and non-users, assessing the barriers that still exist for underserved women in Tanzania, and exploring opportunities for empowering more women to use mobile financial services.

Watch Kristy share her in-field experience in this video interview. Kristy also shares her experiences in a guest contribution on Mobile Payments Today , the second in a five-part series exploring mobile financial services in developing economies.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

Dec 20, 2012

Bill Gajda on the Future of Mobile Payments

The widespread adoption of Internet-enabled devices – smart phones, tablets, laptops and PCs – enable consumers to shop online, anywhere, anytime – especially this holiday season. According to IBM, 24% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site over Thanksgiving & Black Friday, up from 14.3% in 2011.

As we shared earlier this week , while Cyber Monday remained the busiest online shopping day of the year – representing an astounding $2.1 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa account holders – Visa’s network has seen seven days that topped more than $1 billion in online sales in the U.S. this holiday season.

In the following video, Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Products for Visa, shares his view on how innovations in mobile and payment technology, including near-field communications, are changing the landscape of commerce this holiday season and into the future. 

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Dec 18, 2012

Perspectives on eCommerce

Earlier today, we shared a look into the growth of U.S. consumer online shopping behavior during the holiday peak season (Nov. 1st – Dec. 16th). It’s no surprise that with the advent of tablets, mobile devices, the growing number of online merchants, and the widening adoption of new payment technologies, eCommerce remains Visa’s fastest growing commerce channel – and we don’t see that changing for a long time to come.

As eCommerce grows, consumers are looking for services that are designed to make online payments simple and secure, without all the hassles of entering bill-to, ship-to, and account information.  Visa understands that, and is helping to usher in this next generation of commerce with a digital wallet service called V.me by Visa.

In the following video, Jim McCarthy, global head of product for Visa, provides his thoughts on how eCommerce has evolved since its inception and the tools Visa is developing to improve the online shopping experience, for everyone.

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 am