Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Feb 26, 2013

Products & Services

Postcards from #MWC13: Visa Global Head of Product Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy, Visa’s Global Head of Product, takes a break from the hustle and bustle of Mobile World Congress to offer his perspective of why mobile payments are at the center of this year’s show.

See  Jim’s insights on how the industry dialogue is evolving and why there is  an increased focus on consumers, merchants and commerce in 2013–and the coolest thing he has seen at #MWC13:


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on February 26, 2013 at 10:13 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.


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


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

Oct 9, 2012

Pay another Visa card, anywhere, in real time

Every day, billions of dollars are exchanged between individuals, often across large distances. Whether it’s repaying a loan from a friend, sending pocket money to a child studying abroad, or moving money between your own accounts – person to person payments have become a part of everyday life.

In the past, one would have had to go through the hassle of filling out a complicated form or going to an agent to transfer money. What if you could send money easily online, or even through your mobile phone – without having to manage cash, fill forms or complete the transaction in-person?

This is now a reality for many people, simply by sending the payment to a Visa account. Over the Internet, through a mobile device or via physical self-service kiosks, consumers in 18 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa are regularly making near-instant personal payments of varying amounts directly to Visa cards.

Today, 200 million consumers in 18 countries around the region can access simple and fast person-to-person payment services based on the Visa Personal Payments platform. Consumers are responding positively too: we’ve seen 89 per cent growth in transactions across the region between September 2011 and September 2012. Of these, about 10 per cent now originate from mobile devices – signaling a significant uptake for mobile-based payments.

With increasing numbers of people making use of the security and convenience provided by this platform, we hope to see this trend continue well into the future.

For more information, see our previous post or click here to read more about innovation at Visa.



Posted by: Visa Corporate Relations Team on October 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

Aug 13, 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

Jul 11, 2012

CITGO Uses Visa Offers’ Real-time Messaging Technology to Enhance Customer Loyalty Offering

 Visa continues to improve Visa account holders’ shopping experience by enabling retailers to tailor discounts and special promotions and deliver them directly to consumers on their mobile phones.  Just in time for summer road trips, CITGO Petroleum is working with Visa on a new summer promotion called CITGO Good Rewards. As noted by Convenience Store Decisions, the new loyalty program is designed to encourage repeat visits to CITGO locations nationwide, while helping enrolled Visa account holders earn CITGO Gift Cards to save on everyday purchases such as food and fuel.     

Visa worked closely with CITGO to design a customized program that uses Visa Offers’ real-time messaging capabilities to help CITGO deliver the right message, to the right consumer at the right time.  CITGO uses Visa Offers’ real-time messaging technology to automatically confirm qualified purchases and keep account holders up to date on their progress.  

Here’s how it works:  Visa account holders can now enroll at, register up to three eligible Visa cards and provide a mobile phone number to receive updates via SMS text messages. After eight purchases of $20 or more between June 1 and Sept. 20 with their enrolled Visa card, consumers will receive redemption instructions for a $15 CITGO Gift Card.

Visa continues to work with a wide range of merchants and financial institutions, to help them close the loop between offer and redemption while providing everyday value for Visa account holders.  To learn more about CITGO Good Rewards, please visit


Posted by: Leigh Amaro, Visa Information Products on July 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

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

Apr 17, 2012

Visa Adds Nokia Lumia 610 To List of Certified Devices for Visa payWave Payments

You might have missed it! Nokia announced last week that the new Lumia 610 smartphone has been added to Visa’s list of approved devices for use with Visa’s mobile payment app – Visa payWave. Nokia’s Lumia joins a number of smartphones already approved by Visa, including the latest NFC-enabled devices from Samsung, LG and RIM. These certifications are important and set the stage for banks and mobile operators to allow consumers to “wave and pay”, finally transforming the phone into a payment device.


Posted by: Brad Greene, Mobile Business Development on April 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Mar 29, 2012

Visa Travel Snapshot: Visa Account Holders Globetrotting ‘Round 2011

From the United States to Brazil, China and beyond,  Visa account holders have been working hard and playing harder, spending more than $235 billion on travel related purchases in 2011—a 14 percent increase from 2010.

Exploring the ends of the earth and back, Visa account holders are setting out in search of new adventures likely leading to an increase in international travel-related purchases and increased momentum toward pre-recession spending levels.


Posted by: Sarah Toffoli, Visa Corporate Relations on March 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

Mar 2, 2012

Our Week in Spain: Mobile World Congress

This week Mobile World Congress in Barcelona housed 1,500 exhibitors and more than 67,000 attendees from over 205 countries around the world.

Our discussions focused on transforming the way people pay and get paid—the role financial institutions, mobile network operators, device manufacturers and merchants will play in making mobile money a reality for consumers around the world.

In addition to our keynote address and panel participation, Visa announced several key partnerships:

A global alliance with Vodafone

  • Visa Inc., Visa Europe and Vodafone formed a brand alliance to bring Visa mobile payments to Vodafone mobile subscribers in key markets around the world. Visa will become the preferred payments brand offered to Vodafone mobile subscribers (in markets where Vodafone owns and operates the mobile network).

A strategic alliance with Intel 

  • Joined Intel CEO Paul S. Otellini on stage during Intel’s press conference 
  • Visa certified Intel’s new smartphone for use with Visa payWave. New Intel-designed mobile devices will host the Visa payWave payment application on a secure SIM card and also feature Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.


Paul Otellini and John Partridge, Courtesy of Mashable


A new service developed in collaboration with Oberthur Technologies

  • “Over the Air” provisioning of mobile payment accounts
  • Financial institutions and mobile network operators will now have the ability to provision and activate mobile payment accounts on smartphones enabled with NFC technology.

Orange Offers Visa Mobile Prepaid to Orange Money Customers

  • Beginning this summer, Orange subscribers will have the extended the functionality of using the Orange Money Service (a closed-loop payment service operating in 7 countries across Africa) to have a Visa Mobile Prepaid account connected to their mobile phone.

President John Partridge’s keynote presentation, “Financial Services in a Mobile World”  discussed Visa’s vision for next generation payments and its ability to improve lives of banked and unbanked consumers.

Global Head of Mobile Product Bill Gajda represented Visa on a panel “Mobile Money: Delivering Innovative Mobile Payment Services,” a discussion with other key payment players striving to make mobile payments a reality.

Collaborating with some of the world’s most innovative companies and individuals reaffirmed what we already know: that technology can transform and improve every aspect of our lives.


Posted by: Ryan Donovan, Corporate Relations on March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am