Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Jul 23, 2012

prepaid cards

The Future of Payments at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

It’s an exciting time to be a Worldwide Sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games. Not only did we launch Go World—Visa’s Olympic -themed integrated marketing campaign in more than 70 countries around the world—we’re giving the Games a modern makeover and transforming the way Visa-sponsored athletes, trialists, and Visa staff pay at thousands of merchants in London and at the Olympic Park.

Here’s what Olympic-goers can expect to see:

  • Visa Mobile Payments: As part of Visa’s collaboration with Samsung, athletes and trialists will be equipped with Samsung’s GALAXY S III. The phone will be powered by an Olympic- branded version of Visa payWave—Visa’s mobile payments application—allowing participants in our showcase to make purchases by simply selecting the Visa icon on the Samsung device and holding the phone to a contactless payment terminal to pay.
  • Speed by with contactless payments: With around 37 million Visa payWave-enabled credit, debit and prepaid cards in circulation across Europe, contactless cards enable visitors to the Games to breeze through London and the Olympic grounds with “wave and pay” purchases at thousands of retailers.
  • Retailers are game: By Games time, more than 140,000 payment terminals throughout the U.K. will accept Visa PayWave-enabled cards and phones, including 5,000 London taxis and 3,000 point-of-sale (POS) locations at Olympic venues.
  • Race ahead with prepaid cards: Visa prepaid cards will be on sale throughout the U.K. and will enable visitors to London to experience the convenience and security of Visa payments, allowing them to make purchases everywhere Visa is accepted and spend less time in concession lines and more time enjoying the Games.

Reshaping the buying experience and simplifying payments at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is just the beginning of what we see as a transformative time ahead.

To see some of what Olympics-goers will experience firsthand, we were recently featured on NBC KTVU’s TechNow pre-Olympics segment:

Let the Games (and future of payments) begin!


Posted by: Elvira Swanson, Visa Corporate Relations on July 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

Jun 15, 2012

Financial Inclusion: Spotlight on the Underserved in the U.S.

This week, leading private sector, government and civil society representatives are gathering at the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) 7th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum to discuss the latest strategies to reduce the number of the financially underserved in the U.S.  As part of our global commitment to advance financial inclusion, Visa is pleased to sponsor the event and contribute to the best practices and payments expertise being shared through speaking on two panels: “Putting the Consumer First: Designing, Delivering, and Identifying Quality in Prepaid” and “Connecting with the Consumer: Branding Strategies for building Trust with the Underbanked Consumer.”

Around the world, an estimated 2.5 billion adults—primarily in developing countries—lack access to formal financial services. However, financial exclusion is not a challenge absent from even some of the world’s most advanced economies. Surprising to some, one in four U.S. households has little or no access to basic financial services.[1] Without this access, the financially underserved are typically reliant on a cash-and-carry lifestyle, without a safe or convenient way to save money, pay their bills or get paid.

Visa is committed to being a part of the financial inclusion solution. At the core of our commitment is our work with our clients to use our products, services and network to improve the lives of the underserved through access to electronic payments. In the U.S., we believe our reloadable prepaid cards provide an important channel for the underserved to gain access. These cards may be purchased by an individual, provided by a government agency for social aid or offered by an employer as a payroll option. Prepaid cards — often an individual’s first point of access to formal inclusion —  offer a safe, reliable and convenient way for people to pay, get paid, store and manage their money.

Beyond our products and network, Visa complements our inclusion commitment by engaging in partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations and multi-lateral organizations to collaborate on strategies and initiatives that address many of the challenges to greater inclusion, such as our involvement in the programs of CFSI. We also deliver extensive financial literacy programs throughout the U.S., as we believe that having the knowledge to understand and use a financial tool responsibly is as important as having access to the product itself. Visa’s financial literacy programs, like Practical Money Skills for Life, help U.S. consumers become more financially savvy by providing free educational resources, including personal finance articles, games and lesson plans.

Financial inclusion in the U.S. is a national challenge not to be overlooked. As leaders this week and throughout the year discuss new strategies and innovation designed to close the financial inclusion gap, Visa remains committed to working with our partners to develop solutions to this important social and economic issue.


[1] Press Release: New FDIC Study Shows One in Four U.S. Households Currently Unbanked or Underbanked


Posted by: Brian Triplett, Head of Commercial & North America Prepaid, Visa on June 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

Apr 24, 2012

Government E-Payments Adoption On The Rise

As reported in today’s Wall Street Journal, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) today shared results from the second Government E-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR) study, sponsored by Visa.

The 2011 GEAR study measures the extent to which governments in 62 countries provide e-payment services and the underlying factors that affect government e-payments adoption. It builds on an initial study conducted in 2007 with new findings that highlight the diversity of government e-payment systems already in place, as well as the abundance of opportunities available to government for improving e-payment services for citizens and businesses.

Bottom line – e-payments adoption by governments is on the rise, and infrastructure and security measures are improving to better support these programs.

Governments use e-payments in a range of ways. From disbursing benefits to citizens so they receive timely, secure access to their funds, to establishing purchasing card programs that help streamline paper-based processes, prevent fraud and drive compliance, e-payments are enabling governments to enjoy greater efficiencies and reduce costs.

The following video highlights some of the topline findings:


Posted by: Brian Triplett, Head of Commercial & North America Prepaid, Visa on April 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

Nov 8, 2011

Uncover What Friends & Family Really Want This Year: Visa Gift Cards

As the joy of the holiday season approaches, so too does the challenge of giving the perfect gift.  Staying within budget while trying to find something special and the time to shop is never easy. This year, consumers can take the guesswork out of the equation and check out the 2011 Visa Holiday Gift Giving Survey, for an inside look at what the people on your gift list really want this year.

Give them what they want

  • 59% of respondents said they would rather receive a network-branded card – like a Visa Gift card – over a present chosen by the gift-giver.
  • 45% of consumers still have at least one unopened holiday gift from last year in the back of their closet.

Put the recipient in control

  • 78% of respondents say they would rather receive a network-branded card—like a Visa Gift card—over a gift card for a specific store or restaurant.
  • 58% of consumers said they would use a Visa Gift card to buy “life essentials” such as groceries or household products, or to pay bills.
  • 51% of the respondents believe that giving a Visa Gift card would help them stay within their holiday budget.

We’ve created a one-stop-shop with information about how to become the perfect gift giver every time

Visit the Visa Gift Card Holiday Guide to learn more about how Visa Gift cards can be a helpful, budget-friendly  holiday shopping tool this season.


Posted by: Lisa McFarland, Head of Consumer Prepaid Products on November 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

Sep 10, 2010

Visa “Watan” Cards Deliver Relief to Pakistan Flood Victims

You most likely saw our press release yesterday, announcing our partnership with United Bank Limited Pakistan (UBL) and local Pakistani agencies to help distribute relief funds to 2 million families affected by the floods. The Watan Visa prepaid debit card, funded by the Pakistan government, will be loaded each with Pkr20,000 (US$230) and issued by UBL in the coming weeks. (Learn more about a similar program we enacted with UBL in 2009. The government used these cards as a solution for helping 1.4 million displaced families receive financial assistance, after fleeing the North-West Frontier Province to escape the ethnic and religious warfare in the region.)

We are proud to provide our fast and secure electronic payment network and products as part of the Pakistan relief effort. I asked my colleague in Pakistan, Amer Pasha, for his first-hand overview of the recent events:


Posted by: Richard Martin, Visa Corporate Relations on September 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Jun 15, 2010

Digital Currency Saves US Taxpayers Billions of Dollars (But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It)

The next development in the Durbin Amendment saga will be a hearing tomorrow in Washington, DC to discuss ways to save money for the United States taxpayer.

Well – on this particular point – Visa shares common ground with Senator Durbin: we 100% agree that saving the American taxpayers’ money should be the government’s No.1 priority.

For nearly a decade, Visa has worked with government entities across America to drive greater efficiencies and transparency by migrating check-based government disbursement programs to a clearly better option: prepaid cards.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Jun 11, 2010

State Treasurers Highlight Another Main Street Victim of Durbin Amendment: Under-banked Individuals

Many of you have viewed our Currency of Progress video focusing on the benefits the government and citizens of Nebraska have seen through their use of Visa prepaid cards. The video shows first-hand how the government of Nebraska has realized significant savings and citizens are benefiting from secure payments for food stamps, Social Security, unemployment and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in Nebraska.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm