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PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Sep 17, 2013

payments

Visa Security Summit 2013: Crowd-Sourcing a New Solution to Consumer Education

Did you know that consumers spend more than two hours a day in mobile apps? That’s nearly as much time as people spend watching television. Mobile devices are transforming how consumers learn and engage. When it comes to security, an engaged consumer is a more protected consumer. There are countless studies that have shown consumers who check their accounts online or take steps to monitor their credit report are less likely to be victimized by fraud and identity theft.

As consumer adoption of new technologies evolves, we are evolving our strategies and practices to ensure we’re reaching consumers in relevant ways. And that includes our efforts to educate consumers about payment security.

In April, Visa became a first-time sponsor of TechCrunch Disrupt NY, one of the nation’s top hackathon contests, which attracts more than 700 developers from around the world.  Developers were given 24 hours to create an app that would help consumers learn payment security basics. The event generated a number of creative ideas and lots of interest from developers.

Now Visa is showcasing this fresh thinking at our flagship security event, the Visa Global Security Summit. Two standout teams from Disrupt will showcase their ideas on stage at this year’s event. Attendees will then vote on which app will win the $5,000 Developers Challenge Award. You can preview information on both teams here.

With consumers being inundated with more information today than ever before, it is critical that we continue to find new and innovative ways to reach them with important security information. We’re excited to be tapping into the talent of the independent developer community to help expand our thinking on how to reach consumers via mobile.

We’re looking forward to seeing the demos showcased on October 2…and may the best team win!

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Posted by: Jennifer Fischer, Head of Americas Payment System Security on September 17, 2013 at 11:16 am

Jul 18, 2013

Innovation in Development Disbursements: Visa Innovation Grant Recipients Announced

 

Today we’re proud to recognize the recipients of the Visa Innovation Grants Program. In partnership with NetHope, a consortium of more than 40 humanitarian organizations, and an Expert Advisory Committee of distinguished public and private sector leaders, five leading development organizations were selected to receive funding for projects that will modernize the distribution of agriculture, health and emergency relief payments to those living below the poverty line.

The Visa Innovation Grants Program is one component of Visa’s ongoing dedication to advancing financial inclusion around the world.  Every year, billions of dollars in cash payments are distributed to people in need through emergency relief efforts, benefit stipends, conditional cash transfers, microfinance programs, and other development initiatives.  Digitizing these payments through mobile phones or other electronic methods not only improves the distribution of aid, but can also help recipients gain access to broader financial services, including savings and electronic payments tools.

The group of five grantee organizations includes: Agribusiness Systems International (ASI), Freedom from Hunger, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mercy Corps, and Pathfinder International.

Each organization has been awarded $100,000 to support innovation in and adoption of electronic payments. The projects are focused on a wide variety of sectors, yet all are seeking better ways to distribute aid to the people who need it most.

Here is an introduction to the projects selected for funding, which we will cover in depth in future posts:

  • Agribusiness Systems International (ASI)

ASI will use the Visa Innovation Grant to bring formal financial services to rice farmers in Ghana. The program will extend branchless banking in rural areas by integrating mobile finance into the rice value chain. Mobile finance will reduce the risk of theft, connect farmers and other actors with financial services, and ensure timely payments to farmers. Founded in 1993 as an affiliate of ACDI/VOCA, ASI is a nonprofit consulting organization that helps smallholder farmers become competitive in the agribusiness sector.

  • Freedom from Hunger

Freedom from Hunger will use the Visa Innovation Grant to improve access to health services in rural Ecuador by integrating electronic payments for health services through local microfinance institutions that provide health savings and credit accounts. The program combines payment services with improved access to health services and education. Freedom from Hunger has more than six decades of experience fighting global poverty and hunger, as well as developing and testing flexible and sustainable approaches that provide group-based financial services, education and access to additional products and services to poor women and youth.

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

IFRC, along with its partner American Red Cross, will use the Visa Innovation Grant to design and test a rapidly implementable and scalable electronic cash transfer system(s) with Red Cross National Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Electronic payments improve security and transparency of aid payments, enable families to begin their recovery in the shortest time possible and create a pathway to more formal financial services. The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, acting before, during and after disasters and crises to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people.

  • Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps will use the Visa Innovation Grant to provide smallholder farmers in Indonesia with access to mobile money, improving their productivity and increasing incomes. The program’s scalable and replicable model connects banks, mobile network operators and a full range of stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, while also helping farmers gain the knowledge and tools they need for success. Mercy Corps is an international development organization that helps people around the world survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disaster.

  • Pathfinder International

Pathfinder International will use the Visa Innovation Grant to introduce a mobile money-based payroll system for its community health workers in Kenya. The pay-for-performance incentive model will be combined with access to real-time field data, improving transparency and the quality of services delivered. Pathfinder International is a nonprofit organization with a focus on access to contraception; maternal and newborn health; and HIV and AIDS services. The organization has implemented projects in more than 100 countries worldwide, and is recognized for its innovative and responsive approaches to meeting health needs at the community level.

There were many impressive ideas submitted by all applicants, and we believe these projects have particular promise for scaling electronic payments across diverse sectors. We look forward to supporting these projects and seeing how each will spur new ideas and models for the future of aid and development payments around the globe.

[Photo above: Elizabeth Mueni (right), a community health worker in Kenya trained by Pathfinder International, uses a mobile phone to collect data and track the health needs of her clients. Photo by Sala Lewis.]

 Check back for more updates about the Visa Innovation Grants Program and the group of recipients highlighted above.

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Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on July 18, 2013 at 6:13 am

Jun 17, 2013

Enabling the Future of Payments Through VisaNet

Technology continues to transform payments and it is changing the way consumers all over the world shop, pay and get paid. The advent of the Internet, mobile phones and social networks has started an unprecedented expansion of the payments ecosystem and ignited a series of innovations. From eCommerce and cross-border remittances, to mobile wallets and acceptance devices, consumers never before had so many options on how and where to transact.

As the consumer shopping experience evolves, so does the backbone technology that enables transactions from all over the world to be authorized in less than a second and settled to the penny every time. VisaNet, our global payments network, is an integral part of this backbone. It connects more than two billion debit, credit and prepaid accounts to nearly 15,000 financial institutions and 36 million merchant locations in more than 200 countries around the world. In its data centers, more than 82 billion transactions in 175 currencies are processed yearly, representing US$6.5 trillion in total volume.   

For more than 50 years Visa’s network has played a key role in reducing cash spend across the globe. When we started as a pilot in Fresno, California, in 1957, we could not imagine that electronic payments would turn into one of the best success stories of the 20th century. Today, it is hard to imagine a world without them. From a cup of coffee to a refrigerator, we pay for nearly everything with payment cards. They stimulate economic growth, reduce inefficiencies and benefit consumers, businesses and governments around the globe.

To stay one step ahead of the global adoption of electronic payments, we’ve continuously expanded and enhanced VisaNet. We have built and acquired secure payment gateways, such as Cybersource and Fundamo that enable merchants, financial institutions and mobile network operators to more easily connect to Visa and offer consumers innovative new ways to pay. From mobile offers and transaction alerts delivered via SMS text message, to mobile payments on the go and at physical retailers, the pace of innovation in the payments industry is exciting. However, we have an obligation to innovate responsibly, and ensure that the core attributes of security, reliability and trust in Visa payments applies to new forms of payments. Our goal is simple: Continue to be the best way to pay, for everyone, everywhere.

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Posted by: Matt Quinlan, Chief Technology Officer, Visa Inc. on June 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

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

Apr 24, 2013

Global Travel Budgets On the Rise: Visa’s Latest Travel Barometer Confirms Industry Growth

This week, Visa announced the results of its latest iteration of its Global Travel Intentions Study series – a look into the behavioral trends of today’s traveler. Responses from the 12,631 travelers from the 25 countries surveyed are split by region and include destination choice, spending habits, budgets, transport preferences and future intentions, all of which reveal a thriving and rapidly evolving travel landscape.

One of the most interesting findings is that budgets are no longer the top concern when choosing a holiday destination. The pull of attractions, scenery and rich cultural experiences are now stronger reasons for travel.

As if that wasn’t good news enough for the Travel and Tourism industry, the Study also showed that global travel budgets are set to increase. While global average budgets for travelers will increase by at least five percent, travelers from Asian markets are expected to increase their budgets by an average of 46 percent.

Amid the global economic uncertainty of the past four years, these findings hint at a welcome change in both the financial landscape and consumer mindset, suggesting either economic recovery or a growing aptitude for budget management. Both herald further good news for the health of international and national economies and will provide exciting opportunities for everyone involved in the Travel and Tourism industry globally.

Visa has long advocated that, as one of the world’s largest, most robust and democratic industries, Travel and Tourism has enormous potential to contribute towards stimulating economic growth, creating opportunity for wealth in both mature and emerging economies. In developing economies particularly, tourism provides a gateway to economic progress and electronic payments have played an important role by allowing countries to capture greater tourist spending and providing travelers with a form of exchange that is secure and convenient.

By identifying changes and developments that allow for a better understanding of the Travel and Tourism environment, the Study is part of Visa’s commitment to increase the collective level of information that the industry can use to make intelligent decisions – to benefit both the traveler and the industry at large. Cross-border understanding and co-ordination have never been more important for the Travel and Tourism industry, and Visa is committed to using the results of the Global Travel Intentions Study 2013 to help private and public partners understand and meet global demand, promoting growth across the industry.

For a summary of the results and for more detailed information on the Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, please visit this link.

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Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on April 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Feb 27, 2013

Postcards from #MWC13: Ashwin Raj on Emerging Markets

As Visa’s Head of Mobile Product in Emerging Markets, Ashwin Raj talks about the importance of Visa’s participation at Mobile World Congress and how it allows Visa to showcase our capabilities, offering a view of what we have accomplished so far–as well articulate our vision for the future of payments.

Ashwin explains how mobile technology has revolutionized the way financial services reach unbanked and under-served consumers in emerging markets and the role Visa plays in making mobile money transactions secure, reliable and convenient.

See Ashwin’s full interview below:

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

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

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

Aug 16, 2012

Visa Competes for a Voice at SXSW: Vote Now!

While South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual convention in Austin that brings together the best in music, independent film and emerging technologies, isn’t for several months, we have a favor to ask.

SXSW is the premier destination for the “who’s who” of technology and innovation, and payments is a hot topic. Visa submitted three compelling future of payments-related panels for SXSW’s Interactive Festival that will discuss how technology is going to impact the way you pay and get paid in the next coming years and we need your help to get us in!

Each year the SXSW community – which includes you – is invited to vote on the agenda. Your vote dictates thirty percent of the overall selection criteria, so make your vote count and choose Visa.

Voting closes on August 31st, so we only have two weeks left. Here is what you need to do:

  • Register: To vote, you have to register. All that’s required is your name and an email address. Fill out the form, hit submit, and an email verification will be sent to you. Even if you registered last year, you need to re-register this year.
  • Socialize your Vote:  Want your vote to go the extra mile? Include comments. The quality of feedback is also weighed in the voting process, so make sure you log in via your favorite social network and share what you think. We want your feedback to help shape the panels.

See Visa panels and click to vote once registered!

Shirt? Skirt? Latte? How We’ll Pay in 2020 

We’ve seen our payment systems continuously evolve over the last century. Today, we’re about to embark on another major milestone in the payment industry – and an entirely new group of stakeholders has been shaking up the conversation: digital wallet service providers. During this panel, we’ll bring together various financial “disruptors” as well as traditional payment leaders, who’ll discuss and provide insight on how payments have evolved and what they will look like in the next decade. The panel will go in depth about new technologies that are revolutionizing our payment systems and how and when consumers and merchants will fully adapt them in their everyday lives.

Click here to vote for ‘Shirt? Skirt? How We’ll Pay in 2020′

 

From Mom and Pop to Y-Not Shops

The GenY crowd is said to be the most entrepreneurial in history. Technology is now the great enabler for all businesses, but Generation Y entrepreneurs have an added advantage: a lifetime of exposure to interactive digital devices has given them an enviable comfort level with new technology and the ability to intuitively navigate and exploit the Internet.  During this panel, we’ll bring together young, emerging entrepreneurs with well-known small business advocates to explain why mom-and-pop shops are no longer that. It is the young entrepreneur who is setting up shops these days, whether it is a food truck, the latest app, or a time-saving technology.

Click here to vote for ‘From Mom and Pop to Y-Not Shops

 

Mobile Money – Trust, Probability and the Future of Payments

Technology companies, financial institutions, payment networks and mobile network operators are working to transform the lives of consumers and are counting mobile technology to offer new financial services and electronic payments that promise to impact our lives.  As the industry claims that consumers will have choices like never before, what does the definitive future actually entail? How are consumers going to start? This panel will answer everything you want and need to know about mobile payments: Where the technology currently stands, what options will come to fruition and what will need to happen to get us there.

Click here to vote for ‘Mobile Money – Tryst, Probability and the Future of Payments

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm

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.

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 13, 2012 at 11:45 am