Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Jul 22, 2013

India

Expanding Access to Electronic Payments in India

It is well-known now that mobile technology has changed the face of electronic payments in emerging markets. For the past decade, mobile phones have been instrumental in providing unbanked and under-banked consumers with secure, reliable and convenient ways to pay and be paid. Although a lot of progress has been made, here in India, more than 40 percent of the urban population is still unbanked and nearly 90 percent of commerce is still cash-based.

Visa and its clients in India are making great strides to change this reality. Recent stats from the Reserve Bank of India prove that progress: there are now 350 million payment cards activated in the country, many of these in rural areas, and penetration of electronic payments is rising. Through our joint venture with Monitise – Movida – we are enabling financial institutions in India to offer consumers to make payments via mobile phone. In fact, earlier today, Movida announced a new agreement with ICICI Bank to offer mobile payments to its customers in India. Everyday transactions like buying tickets, paying a bill or recharging a wireless account can now be made with any mobile phone, not just smartphones.

Because the service is designed to operate across all mobile networks using any payment card – both Visa and non-Visa – we expect that Indian consumers will be able to wave goodbye to long queues while visiting the post office or paying their bills at automated tellers. These transactions, along with insurance premium and other recurring payments, are now available securely and conveniently to clients of ICICI Bank directly via their mobile phones.

As India continues to expand and upgrade its telecommunications infrastructure to rural areas, more Indian consumers will have access to secure and reliable electronic payments and financial services via a mobile phone– a critical step in the migration from cash to more convenient, secure forms of payment.   

In the long run, electronic payments will help to drive financial inclusion and fuel economic development and growth in our country. It is an exciting time and at Visa, we are proud to play a role in the transformation of India.

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Posted by: Uttam Nayak, Group Country Manager, Visa Inc. on July 22, 2013 at 4:24 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

Nov 19, 2010

India – Bringing Banking to the Un-banked

Currently in India, the vast majority of many residents simply do not have access to basic banking services. One of the greatest challenges for the government is ensuring that all of its citizens are able to access these services—the concept of financial inclusion is a key focus and fundamental principle of the Indian government. It helps facilitate economic growth, it allows the un-banked for the first time—in many instances—to be able to effectively save, access credit, efficiently pay for goods and services (as well, in the case of merchants to be paid),  and it offers the added benefit of reducing fraud and increasing tax revenue.

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Posted by: Uttam Nayak, Group Country Manager, Visa Inc. on November 19, 2010 at 9:24 am

Aug 26, 2010

Bringing the Benefits of Financial Inclusion to India

India is the world’s second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people, GDP growth of more than 7 percent and the world’s largest rail system that carries 6 billion passengers a year. Despite its growth, the government is eager to shift consumer spending from cash to electronic payment to accelerate growth, transparency and financial inclusion. In our recent trip to Mumbai as part of the Currency of Progress project, we found many encouraging signs of consumers and merchants embracing digital currency as a more secure, transparent and convenient alternative to cash.

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Posted by: Richard Martin, Visa Corporate Relations on August 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm