Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Jun 25, 2013

Merchants

Keep Safe & Travel On: Tips for a Fraud Free Holiday

You could be lying on the pristine beaches of Phuket this weekend, or trekking along the Great Wall of China the next. With budget flights on the rise and an ever abundant array of attractive travel packages on offer, getting away to an exotic locale or a dazzling metropolis has never been easier.

It’s no wonder then that despite an uncertain economic climate, international tourist arrivals crossed the 1 billion mark in 2012, and is expected to grow another three to four percent.  Moving in tandem with the rise in travel is also the growth in tourism receipts. In 2012 alone, global travel spending grew a healthy seven percent to reach €875 billion, or US$1.15 trillion. 

As travel becomes easier and more accessible, so have the methods of payment. Long gone are the days when cash or traveler’s checks were the only accepted forms of currency. Today, Visa cards are accepted at tens of millions of merchants around the world and provide 24-hour cash access at over 2 million ATMs in more than 200 countries.  Not only are payment cards more convenient than cash, they are safer too. Cash can be hard to keep track of and easy to misplace, especially when you’re changing planes or hotels. However, cards can be replaced if they get lost or stolen.

Nevertheless, as you plan your next vacation, keep in mind that no matter where you go, criminals are on the lookout for new methods to commit fraud at the expense of your wallet and peace of mind. So, whether you’re traveling on business or taking a well-deserved vacation, refer to our infographic for some practical suggestions on how you can make travel more secure, hassle free and enjoyable:

 

Click image to view full size infographic

 

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Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on June 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

Jun 10, 2013

Accelerating the migration to electronic payments through mobile acceptance solutions

The way we pay has evolved dramatically over the last 50 years. The “electronification” of commerce has helped to stimulate economic growth, reducing inefficiencies and providing consumers convenient and secure access to their funds. Mobile technology, in particular the introduction of low cost mobile “card readers” is helping to drive the migration from cash and checks to electronic forms of payments.

From emerging markets, where traditional acceptance infrastructure simply does not exist, to farmers markets and coffee shops in developed countries, mobile point-of-sale acceptance is helping to displace cash payments and enabling merchants of all sizes – even the smallest ones – to accept card payments. It is an inventive solution from both the technology and business model points of view, which leverages the broad penetration of mobile phones to add acceptance to those segments of merchants where cash used to be the only available option.

At Visa, we see great potential to accelerate the migration to electronic payments through mPOS solutions. By helping to promote the use of these services in the Visa system, we believe they will have a greater uptake and benefit more consumers and merchants worldwide. But we want to do that in a responsible way, so to ensure that innovative payments like mPOS technology provides the same security, reliability and scale as traditional payment terminals.

This is why earlier this year we launched the Visa Ready Program, a streamlined process for the testing and approval of new payment solutions that enables our business partners to more rapidly deploy products for use with Visa payments. Last week, we’ve announced five new leading mobile acceptance providers to join the program: AnywhereCommerce, iZettle, Miura Systems, SumUp and Swiff. Two of them, AnywhereCommerce and Miura System, already have mPOS devices that are approved to accept Visa payments.

There are over two billion Visa cards around the world today and with every new mPOS device that is put out there lays an opportunity to displace paper-based payments. In the United States alone, mPOS can help to migrate more than $1.1 trillion yearly from paper to electronic payments[1]. This is a tremendous opportunity for solutions providers, financial institutions and merchants. Visa is ready to help our clients and partners seize this great momentum, while at the same time giving consumers the peace of mind they need to transact in the mobile channel.

For detailed information on last week’s announcement, click here.

 


[1] Javelin Strategy & Research, Mobile POS (Point of Sale) Business and Market Impact 2013: Emerging Technologies Expand Reach with Lower Cost, Disruptive Services, April 2013, www.javelinstrategy.com

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Posted by: Matt Dill, Global Head of Business Development on June 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

Feb 26, 2013

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:

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

Feb 15, 2013

#LoveCustomers Tips for Small Business Owners: Laws of Attraction—Getting New Customers and First-time Buyers

It’s the time of year to share love with your nearest and dearest. For small business owners, beyond their families, that also means loving customers. Last October, together with small business expert and USA Today columnist, Rhonda Abrams, we developed the Small Business Holiday Success Guide. We heard from many sources that the guide was valuable and contained easy-to-implement tips for navigating the holiday hurdles. To continue building on that tradition, we are pleased to bring you our next small business resource – the Love Your Customers Guide. Inside are tips to help target, acquire and hold on to the best mix of customers. In this post, Rhonda Abrams shares some of her top tips to get new customers.

We hope you enjoy.

~Janet @jzablock

“If you build it, will they come?” Not necessarily. Entrepreneurs are rightfully proud of the products or services they create, but how do they get customers to know about it?

Just because you’ve created something new, something better, or something cheaper doesn’t mean customers flock to your door. It takes a lot of work to get the word out to customers. And even more work to motivate them to buy.

There are lots of reasons customers don’t rush to a new and better offering. Most of the time, the culprit is that customers don’t know about your offerings. And when they learn about you, you haven’t given them sufficient reason to change. That means you’ve got to put effort to get the word out to prospects—as well as offering incentives for them to try you out.

Given that most customers are set in their ways and don’t switch providers easily, what can you do to convince a customer to switch to you? The table above outlines some successful methods for encouraging customers to give your business a try.

First things first – customers have to know about you! You need to effectively get the word out about your product or service—and keep repeating your message. Some of the ways you can do this are through:

  • Advertising. You have endless advertising options to get the word out about your company, from billboard ads, to search engine marketing ads, to ads in traditional media—print, radio, and TV.
  • Social media marketing. Promote your deals on your social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on. Reach out to key bloggers and post your offers on your business page of user review sites. And you can purchase ads on these sites too.
  • Public relations. The best advertising often comes in the form of free publicity in the media. But that takes PR work and getting your message to journalists. Generating positive reviews by influencers is especially helpful for attracting new customers.
  • Open houses. Offer freebies to introduce new customers to your store, restaurant, or service and to stimulate publicity.

Visit here to download the Love Your Customers guide and learn more!

Enjoy!
Rhonda Abrams @RhondaAbrams
USA Today Small Business Columnist and Expert

Disclaimer:  Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal, financial, tax or other advice.  When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal and financial advisors. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.

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Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on February 15, 2013 at 10:08 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

Dec 18, 2012

2012: The Year of the Cyber Holiday Season

Today, Visa reported that merchants made more than $50 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders from November 1 to December 16, 2012, up 16% from the same period in 2011. While Cyber Monday remained the busiest online sales day of the year – representing $2.1 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders – Visa’s network has seen seven days with more than $1 billion in online sales during the 2012 holiday season, making this what Visa is declaring the first official Cyber Holiday Season.

In fact, merchants have been increasingly benefiting from eCommerce throughout the holiday season for several years, spurred in part by offering free shipping and other deals well before Thanksgiving when consumers shop online. According to IHS Global Insight, overall U.S. holiday sales growth is expected to be 3.9%, with online sales growth at 17%, indicating that merchants’ online sales continue to outpace in-store purchases and represent a growing portion of all holiday sales.

In addition to facilitating eCommerce, our partnerships allow merchants of all sizes to better serve their customers and grow their businesses during the busiest time of the year. We’ve been doing it since the advent of online shopping and, today, more merchants accept Visa for online purchases than any other payment method (Source: comScore, December 2012).

Accepting Visa online enables even the smallest merchants to reach consumers regardless of their location or time zone, and can increase merchants’ sales, efficiency and security.  Additional benefits of acceptance include guaranteed payment, simplified accounting and the ability to take advantage of Visa’s innovative products and services – such as V.me and Visa Offers – which enable merchants to deliver a streamlined online checkout process and use SMS text messages to send tailored promotions to Visa account holders who have opted in, respectively.

Watch the video below to see Visa Chief Economist Wayne Best discuss eCommerce trends for the 2012 holiday season:

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 18, 2012 at 6:35 am

Dec 11, 2012

LivingSocial and Newegg.com are the Latest Merchants Live with V.me by Visa

Whether you’re celebrating the holidays with family, friends, or both, early eCommerce data is showing just how generous people are through the holidays. Consumers are spending more time—and money—online as more people log-on to do their holiday shopping to avoid crowds, save money and simplify the gift buying experience. This year, Visa is making it even easier by adding two more leading online retailers to our growing roster of V.me by Visa merchants and further eliminating the hassles of online shopping. 

Today, visitors to LivingSocial.com and Newegg.com can sign up for V.me, checkout with a few simple clicks, and say goodbye to having to enter their bill-to, ship-to and account information each time they make a purchase online.  For both adventure lovers looking to book New Year’s Eve plans or discover a weekend excursion, or tech-enthusiasts looking for holiday shopping deals or the latest gadget, LivingSocial and Newegg.com are sure to have the perfect gift.

With just two weeks to finish holiday shopping before Christmas, it’s important to be able to buy gifts quickly. V.me allows people to do just that, enabling checkout with just a few clicks of the mouse at any of the leading 25 eCommerce merchants using V.me.  Today’s news builds on the recent launch of V.me, where more than 50 financial institutions participated in the announcement, bringing the addressable base of cardholders to as many as 55 million.

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

Nov 21, 2012

‘Tis the Season for Ringing Checkout Registers

It’s the time of year when retailers hope that you’ve made Santa’s “Nice” list, so there are lots of presents under the tree and all stockings are stuffed! So far, early indications suggest that the season will be jolly, keeping Santa and his reindeers’ travel schedules fully booked.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping will increase 4.1 percent to $586 billion this year. Additionally, this week Adobe predicted online sales on Cyber Monday would top $2 billion this year, representing an 18 percent increase over 2011. Also of note: a prediction that mobile commerce would represent more than one-fifth (21 percent) of all online sales this holiday season.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically thought of as two of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, a closer look at our United States-driven eCommerce data may suggest otherwise. We tasked some of our holiday number-crunching elves at Visa to look at debit and credit card purchases over the past 10 holiday seasons and found some interesting trends:

  • Weekend warriors: With a few notable exceptions (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), shopping volumes tend to climb significantly on Saturday and Sunday and drop off during the weekdays. [No matter which day you shop, if you are doing it online, V.me by Visa can help simplify the process.]
  • eCommerce excellence: According to Forrester, shoppers are expected to spend $226 million online this year alone.
  • Shopping strongholds: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BUSY shopping days—but not the busiest of the year.
  • Procrastination purchasing: Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts means a rush before Christmas. Over the last 10 years, December 22, 23 and 24th have been the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Whether past trends hold true this holiday season, or other days emerge as shopping surprises remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: checkout registers – whether online, mobile or in stores – will be busy ringing with the holiday sounds of spending.

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on November 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Nov 13, 2012

Wallets: Let’s Get Digital!

Our wallets are getting a makeover just in time for the holidays.  For as many as 55 million addressable cardholders, the transformation comes courtesy of three simple words: V.me by Visa.

At Visa, we’re continuing our momentum in the modern wallet era by giving more people access to V.me.  Since our announcements with U.S. Bank and PNC, Visa has landed new strategic relationship with more than 50 additional financial institutions, meaning tens of millions of customers can make online payments using V.me by Visa.

Historically, we’ve all been unpaid data entry clerks when it comes to online shopping, typing in account, bill-to and ship-to information nearly everywhere we shop online. Beginning today, that’s all about to change. Today’s consumer types in an average of 44 fields when shopping online, and V.me gets you down to 5 or 6 (depending on if you’re sending to yourself or a loved one).

Signing up for V.me through our bank partners and enrolling your Visa (or other U.S. issued payment cards) is simple.  Before you can say “SALE!” you can start shopping online from any PC, tablet or mobile device.

Don’t see your bank on the list of partners Fear not!  Visit www.V.me to enroll online, and start your holiday shopping immediately at any of the 23 participating merchantsPacSun and Blue Nile are just a few of the leading eCommerce sites using V.me, where you’ll enjoy a more simple, secure and personalized checkout experience.

You want to shop—and we want to make it easy for you to pay how you want (although we prefer Visa), when you want (no judging if you’re shopping in your pajamas at midnight) and with the safety and security that comes with the Visa brand.

Stay tuned for even more banks and merchants coming soon, and in the meantime, happy shopping.

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on November 13, 2012 at 5:08 am