Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Nov 12, 2013


Holiday Shoppers Prepare to Hit the Web




As consumers gear up for the holidays, it’s clear we’re in for another growth year in eCommerce.  According to new data from the Visa Spending Intentions survey, 87 percent of people plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year, with 40 percent saying they will do half or more gift-buying online.  That’s good news for retailers, knowing that 72 percent of people also plan to spend more or the same amount of money on gifts this year, compared to last year.

In the first 10 months of 2013, eCommerce sales are up 17 percent from the same period last year, and Visa domestic eCommerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19 percent from 2012.

Other key findings from the Visa Spending Intentions survey include:

Electronic Payments are the Norm

  • 25 percent of respondents plan to use their mobile phone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, up from 22 percent last year
  • Credit and debit cards will be the primary form of payments through the holidays, with 56 percent of people planning to use their credit card and 30 percent to use a debit card

The Holidays are Big Business, for Big and Small Businesses

  • Almost 50 percent expect to spend between $301 and $800, while 14 percent plan to spend more than $800
  • More than 85 percent of consumers are as, or more, inclined to shop at a small business this year, compared to last year

Beat the Crowds, with a Tap of the Finger

  • Online holiday shopping has become the preferred way to shop for a number of reasons, including:
    • Fits my schedule better/Can shop anytime (67 percent)
    • Better prices online (61 percent)
    • Dislike battling crowds (54 percent)

Each year, millions of shoppers rely on Visa for holiday-related purchases, providing a near real-time view into consumer behavior. If you wish to receive regular updates throughout the holiday season, send an email to [email protected] or follow ongoing updates at

* 2013 VisaNet Data

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted for Visa by Prosper Insights and Analytics via an online sample of over 4,600 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over.


Posted by: Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Feb 27, 2013

A Dollar a Day, Slowly Frittered Away

Keeping track of cash can be a hassle, especially with today’s busy – and increasingly globe-trotting – lifestyle. In fact, the recent Visa Payment Attitudes Study has revealed that we lose on average US$365 each year by using cash instead of cards. If you worked from 20 years old until you were 65 and lost that much every year, it would amount to a whopping US$16,425!

This consists of US$80 worth of idle change just lying around the home, car or office, and US$285 worth of unused foreign currency lost after trips abroad. This seemingly small amount, that averages a dollar a day, is actually equivalent to the cost of 6.5 grams of gold or supporting a family of four in Bangladesh for a year!

The study also revealed that keeping tabs on our hard-earned money and worrying about carrying cash around is a concern for us too. The majority of respondents (54 percent) said the key reason they have a debit card is because it is more convenient to carry around, rather than being weighed down by a large amount of cash. They also like debit because you can use it to make online purchases (45 percent) and to keep their finances in check, with over half (53 percent) saying it is good for smart financial management because the payment is debited directly from their regular bank account.

We’ve long known that carrying cash can be inconvenient and unreliable, and now this research proves that we are out of pocket by using cash too! See the infographic below for a breakdown of the results and which countries are losing out on the most by sticking to cash…

 For more on the study visit


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on February 27, 2013 at 6:35 am

Feb 19, 2013

Electronic Payments Modernize the Face of Government Benefits

From eCommerce to eBanking, digital commerce is changing the way people around the world shop, pay and be paid.  The Electronic Payments Association explains that the average business saves between $2,000 and $7,000 annually by using electronic payments rather than paper checks. 

 The cost savings, enhanced security, broad convenience and universal acceptance of electronic payments have recently prompted the U.S. government to mandate the trend and extend the benefits of digital payments to Social Security payment recipients.  Beginning March 1, 2013, paper checks for Social Security benefits will virtually disappear.

This will affect five million Americans still receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits by check, and save taxpayers more than $100 million a year.  The switch will enhance security, help decrease fraud and eliminate theft of paper checks from mailboxes by issuing funds directly to the recipient, electronically.

It’s clear that more than ever technology is shaping the way we live nearly every aspect of our lives.  Single function currency like cash and check comes with significant limitations, especially when consumers shop online, move between payment devices and need their payments to move seamlessly with them and work reliably wherever they shop.  Using credit, debit, and prepaid cards is the norm for many Americans and this is one more step in the march away from paper checks and cash.

For more information on the transition to electronic benefits, visit:


Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on February 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Nov 15, 2012

The Economist Delves Into the “War of the Virtual Wallets”

Hailing the recent commercial availability of by Visa as “another milestone on the journey to digital cash” the Economist provides an overview of the major players and landscape in the digital wallet space in “War of the Virtual Wallets“, including perspective from Visa’s global head of eCommerce, Jennifer Schulz.

While noting that the competition in the virtual wallet space is white-hot, the article asserts that Visa is well-positioned as the battle intensifies.  Some Visa-specific statistics noted in the article to support this prediction include:

*More than 2.3 billion Visa cards in circulation

*Over $8 billion in total Visa credit, debit and prepaid transactions processed in 2011

*Significant technology investments and acquisitions in developed markets, including and Square

*Strategic investments in developing and emerging markets, including Monitise and Fundamo (a Visa company)

*Strong relationships with large member banks, including 50+ supporting

Please click here to read the entire article.


Posted by: Ryan Donovan, Corporate Relations on November 15, 2012 at 1:34 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

Sep 26, 2012

Money Management Made Easy

Helping college students manage money is an issue for millions of families today. For Japanese student Sho Ninagawa and his parents, Sho’s opportunity to study abroad at the University of Colorado presented a unique challenge with respect to money management. How could they quickly and conveniently provide Sho with funds when needed?  How could he avoid carrying large sums of cash? And how could they help him manage his spending?

A Visa Debit card provided the solution they needed.  The account made it possible to conveniently deposit funds in Japan for his access in the U.S., as well as solve concerns about his safety and the security of making payments—no need to carry large sums of cash that put him at risk of loss or theft, and Visa’s security features protect Sho and his family from fraud.  Plus, his spending could be tracked and managed, easing another parental concern.

We visited Sho and his parents to learn more about their experience with Visa Debit. See how it benefitted them in our video interview.


Posted by: Lisa Kimberlin, Global Corporate Relations on September 26, 2012 at 10:59 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

Jul 31, 2012

Postcards From London: Use Your Visa to Cycle Around the City


From the historic landmarks to the distinctive neighborhoods, London is a great city to see by bicycle. And whether you are a tourist or a local, hopping on a bicycle and touring the city is as easy as paying with your credit or debit card at a docking station.

Barclays Cycle Hire is an innovative, adventurous and environmentally responsible way to see the sights of London. The distinctive blue cycles are located in convenient hubs across the city for less than you would spend on a bottle of water.  And when you are done riding, simply dock it at another station and walk away.

And while it might not be as exhilarating as breaking away from the pelaton like the cyclists in the London 2012 Olympic Games, it will definitely provide a convenient and healthy way to see London.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on July 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Mar 13, 2012

No Coins Required: Card-Enabled Parking Meters Grow in Popularity Nationwide

A recent article in the Washington Post noted the installation of forty-one parking meters in Bethesda, Maryland, that now accept payment via credit and debit cards, rather than just cash.  This reflects a growing trend of card-enabled parking meters popping up all over the country, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Washington D.C.  It also speaks to the larger migration from cash to digital currency in the U.S.  Since 2000, electronic payments (including card brands) have increased share of personal consumption expenditure from 20% to 32% (CY 2010).[1]

Smaller municipalities have jumped on the parking-meter bandwagon as well, and some with significant gusto.  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (population 74,900), recently added 300 card-enabled meters to their existing 100, partly as a result of consumer demand as the new parking meters have been the top request of downtown shoppers, according to the manager of the Downtown Bethlehem Association.  The city has certainly taken note:  according to Bethlehem Parking Authority Executive Director Tom Hartley, “the increased meter rates have more than doubled the authority’s meter revenues…the first two months of 2012 brought in $218,474 compared with $106,670 last year.”

The new meters require a capital investment, but as shown, they can provide more revenue than traditional meters because they are equipped with sensors that detect when cars pull out of a parking spot to absorb any unused time.  For drivers, it means less hassle looking for change to feed hungry meters.   

It seems the new meters are a win-win for all parties concerned, and that’s the kind of progress we support.  Learn more about the ways Visa digital currency is innovating to make transit more efficient for governments and consumers at Currency of Progress.

[1] SEC filings and press releases for card brands and IHS Global insight for PCE


Posted by: Albert Coscia, Visa Corporate Relations on March 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Jan 12, 2012

It’s Time to Start Using Those Visa Gift Cards

Now that the presents have been opened and the holidays are behind us, those who unwrapped a Visa Gift card are beginning to log in online and speed through checkout lines as they purchase those perfect gifts.  Whether it’s used at any of the millions of brick and mortar locations that accept Visa Debit cards, online, or by phone – shoppers are experiencing the convenience and flexibility the Visa Gift card offers to shop where they want for what they want.

How will people use their Visa Gift cards?

According to the recent Visa Gift Giving Survey, people will spend their Visa Gift card in the following ways:

61%  Indulging in something they might not normally be able to buy/afford

58%  Buying “life essentials” such as groceries or paying bills

41%  Using it to help purchase gifts for other people

Follow these simple tips when using a Visa Gift card:

  • Activate and Read: The gift card is activated upon purchase, so the recipient can begin using the card immediately. Recipients should be sure to read the issuer’s terms and conditions of their Visa Gift card, which are included in the original packaging, or can be found on the issuer’s web site.
  • Use It: The card was given as a gift, and it’s important to use it early to enjoy the full benefits of the gift.  If the purchase price exceeds the value of the gift card, another form of payment can be provided in addition to the gift card.  Tip: Recipients can send a thank you note to the gift giver letting them know what was purchased with the card.
  • When Paying – Know the Balance and Choose “Credit:” Know the value remaining on the Visa Gift card before shopping, either by calling the card issuer or checking the balance online. When paying in person, card holders should select the “credit” option as the payment method when checking out.

For more tips and information on how to use a Visa Gift card – visit


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on January 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm