Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Nov 3, 2011

Visa payWave

How We Got Here: Reflecting on 30 Years of Payments

After reading Walt Mossberg’s column highlighting game-changing innovations he’s reviewed over that last 20 years, we were inspired to think about the top payment innovations at both Visa and beyond.  While Walt touched on everything from mobile phones and laptops to digital cameras and search engines, we’re proud to be at the forefront of significant payments milestones over the last 30 years.  Looking back, we were surprised at how many major developments significantly impacted the payments landscape in recent history. 

Here’s a snapshot of some of the technology advancements that we think have helped shape the way we pay today:

  • 1983 – Cash Around the Clock: Building on our “anytime, anywhere” promise, Visa launched the first ATM machine network, providing 24-hour cash around the world and contributing to the convenience of modern travel.
  • 1987 – Phone Home: Prepaid calling cards are introduced by World Telecom, Siemens and GE in the U.S. with new magstripe technology.
  • 1989 – Sign Here: Visa added electronic signature capability with the acquisition of Interlink.
  • 1995 – Debit Goes Mainstream: The Visa check card debuts, and the convenience of debit begins to take hold in wallets around the world.
  • 1995 – “Chip” off the Old Block: We co-developed an industry chip card specification, Europay/ MasterCard/ Visa (EMV), to help ensure that all chip cards operate with all chip-reading terminals.
  • 1997 – Gas and Go: ExxonMobil’s Speedpass is the first contactless payment system that allowed consumers to wave to pay at the pump.
  • 2005 – A New Wave of Payments: The first Visa payWave contactless cards are issued in the United States, enabling consumers to just wave to pay.
  • 2005 – The Micropayment Connection: Kiva launches the world’s first personal micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to entrepreneurs. 
  • 2009 – Hip to Be Square: The launch of Square dongles enable non-traditional merchants to accept credit and debit payments.
  • 2011 – The Wallet Goes Digital: In addition to the announcement of Visa’s digital wallet, the next generation payment solution that enables digital, mobile and social commerce, the industry also saw partnerships and consortiums including ISIS and Google Wallet.


Posted by: Erica Harvill, Visa Corporate Relations on November 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Jan 4, 2011

Bloomberg Businessweek – CEO Guide to Mobile Payments

Bloomberg Businessweek spent the last weeks of 2010 preparing for its first special report of 2011, meeting with Visa Head of Mobile Innovation, Bill Gajda, to discuss where mobile contactless payments are headed, what it will take to get there and how Visa is helping bring consumers, financial institutions and merchants together.


Posted by: Elvira Swanson, Visa Corporate Relations on January 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Sep 21, 2010

Have Phone, Will Travel

A journey of a thousand miles now begins with a single wave.

Visa today announced partnerships with transit agencies in New York and New Jersey that will give commuters the ability to bypass the ticket window and pay for their fare with a mobile phone. This pilot program—which includes New York City Transit, NJ TRANSIT, and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—enables riders of mass transit systems to pay using Visa payWave-enabled credit, debit and prepaid cards and mobile phones.

The mobile technology, which was developed by DeviceFidelity, transforms smart phones with a microSD slot into a Visa payment device. This announcement is a giant step toward Visa’s goal of eliminating the time-consuming step of paying for a ticket at a separate fare machine or searching for cash, reducing riders’ hassle during their commute.


Posted by: Elvira Swanson, Visa Corporate Relations on September 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm