Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Jan 14, 2014


Visa Extends Winning Partnership With FIFA


Ricardo Fort, Visa SVP Global Sponsorship Marketing, (middle) joined FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter (left) and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke (right) for Visa’s sponsorship renewal announcement at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.

In a small ceremony at the Home of FIFA today in Zurich, Visa was proud to formalize the continuation of our sponsorship of FIFA as the exclusive partner in the financial services product category for another eight years through 2022. The agreement maintains the unity of the world’s favorite sport with the world’s leading payment brand, a strategic relationship that features shared core values of market leadership, global ubiquity, acceptance and public awareness.

Under the leadership of President Blatter, this exciting period will see the FIFA World CupTM staged in first-time markets of Russia (in 2018) and Qatar (in 2022) – the latter being the first time ever for the event being staged in the Middle East. Additionally, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World CupTM will also highlight more than 40 other FIFA championships to be held during that time period. Through our relationship with FIFA, Visa will truly be “everywhere you want be” in celebration of football.

The FIFA partnership is a particularly important one for Visa, enabling us to work with the world football community to drive business objectives with our global clients, benefit communities and connect more with fans. As we look to the future, we will draw on the success of the past to provide unique experiences for our clients around FIFA’s signature events. Concurrently, we will work to make a strong impact in global communities and to create more pathways for people to enter the formal financial system.

In late December Visa launched its marketing campaign for the 2014 FIFA World CupTM in Brazil. Today’s announcement enables us to not only look forward to the global campaign rollout in March and the historic event that will take place in June and July across Brazil, but also begin to build on those plans for a long future with FIFA.



Posted by: Ricardo Fort, SVP of Global Sponsorship Marketing, Visa Inc. on January 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Jan 12, 2014

Visa’s New Corporate Positioning

When I joined Visa 14 months ago, I knew a lot about the company and our business. However, in the short time I have been at Visa, I have learned a lot more about our history and, most importantly, our 55-year legacy of sustained value.

As any one of the almost 10,000 employees at Visa will tell you, I am passionate about continuing our growth by connecting to the ideals of our founders. For Visa to be successful, their simple aspiration: “to be the best way to pay and be paid” needs to drive everything and everyone at Visa. Half a century later, we added three words to our goal: “for everyone, everywhere.”

The launch this weekend of “Everywhere you want to be” brings our new ideals into focus for all our stakeholders. It is an opportunity to chart a path for the future of the company by reconnecting to the most relevant and resonant elements of our past.

“Everywhere you want to be” is much more than a tagline or advertising slogan. It marks an important milestone in the evolution of Visa. Thirty years ago, “Everywhere” was a restaurant in the United States. Today, thanks to advances in mobile and high-speed Internet, “Everywhere” is a mobile money system in Rwanda, an e-commerce merchant in California or a government prepaid card system in Brazil. In other words, our journey to ensure “Everywhere” is available to “Everyone” is well under way.

To achieve our goal, though, we need to engage with all our stakeholders equally. Dee Hock called Visa an “enabling organization” that works most effectively when all the interests of all the participants are balanced. Our global business is made up of billion of cards, tens of millions of merchants and nearly 15,000 financial institution clients around the world. We value all these relationships and the role they play. We are working hard to deliver greater value to all partners and part of that is how we communicate with them.

For the first time in our history, we are using all the communications tools at our disposal to reach everyone – consumers, merchants, financial institutions ,employees, business partners and government officials – with a unified message tailored to them.

In the coming days and weeks, you will see the “Everywhere” platform come to life through Olympic advertising.   Shortly after, we will be delivering “Everywhere” messages to our many audiences, through multiple channels, around the world.

I am very excited about today’s announcement. It’s an important new chapter in Visa’s history. I would like to thank everyone at Visa and beyond who helped bring this to life around the world.


Posted by: Charles Scharf, Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc. on January 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Dec 5, 2013

The Rich Will Continue Spending More…On Travel

Affluent travelers are expected to spend at least $1,000 more per holiday in the next year. Typically creatures of comfort, their top holiday destinations for the next year are still the modernized cities of the USA, UK and Australia. And one of the top deciding factors of where they go? Good weather apparently.

Another quirk of the affluent traveler? A need to connect with their internet banking facilities regardless of where in the world they are.

BBC Fast Track presenter, Carmen Roberts, speaks to Visa’s James Lim who reveals the difference between global and Asian affluent travelers in their top travel destinations and how they spend.


To find out more about the Study, download a copy of the report here.


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on December 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Nov 12, 2013

Holiday Shoppers Prepare to Hit the Web




As consumers gear up for the holidays, it’s clear we’re in for another growth year in eCommerce.  According to new data from the Visa Spending Intentions survey, 87 percent of people plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year, with 40 percent saying they will do half or more gift-buying online.  That’s good news for retailers, knowing that 72 percent of people also plan to spend more or the same amount of money on gifts this year, compared to last year.

In the first 10 months of 2013, eCommerce sales are up 17 percent from the same period last year, and Visa domestic eCommerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19 percent from 2012.

Other key findings from the Visa Spending Intentions survey include:

Electronic Payments are the Norm

  • 25 percent of respondents plan to use their mobile phone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, up from 22 percent last year
  • Credit and debit cards will be the primary form of payments through the holidays, with 56 percent of people planning to use their credit card and 30 percent to use a debit card

The Holidays are Big Business, for Big and Small Businesses

  • Almost 50 percent expect to spend between $301 and $800, while 14 percent plan to spend more than $800
  • More than 85 percent of consumers are as, or more, inclined to shop at a small business this year, compared to last year

Beat the Crowds, with a Tap of the Finger

  • Online holiday shopping has become the preferred way to shop for a number of reasons, including:
    • Fits my schedule better/Can shop anytime (67 percent)
    • Better prices online (61 percent)
    • Dislike battling crowds (54 percent)

Each year, millions of shoppers rely on Visa for holiday-related purchases, providing a near real-time view into consumer behavior. If you wish to receive regular updates throughout the holiday season, send an email to [email protected] or follow ongoing updates at

* 2013 VisaNet Data

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted for Visa by Prosper Insights and Analytics via an online sample of over 4,600 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over.


Posted by: Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Nov 4, 2013

Welcome to Visa’s Second Annual Global Volunteer Month!


On November 1st, Visa kicks off of our 2nd Annual Global Volunteer Month. In this focused month of volunteering, employees around the world are finding meaningful ways to give back.

Last year, more than 2,100 employees improved the communities where we live and work, serving over 87 nonprofits in 28 markets spanning 18 countries. This November, we are excited to extend our impact to 23 countries as we focus on needs in our communities—from a team in Singapore that will teach financial literacy to high school students, to employees in Nairobi who will plant trees in a local forest, to Sao Paulo volunteers who will deliver supplies to a local school.  In our headquarters community around Foster City, we have more than 40 events planned, including teams of employees who will be alleviating hunger through engaging with local food banks, beautifying parks in San Francisco, volunteering at local schools and so much more.

Since its launch in 2008, the global Visa Volunteers initiative has been a core component of our Corporate Responsibility program. At Visa, we believe it’s important to enable and empower our employees with opportunities to give back. The Visa Volunteers program helps employees around the world connect with nonprofit partners, create team events and track their volunteer hours. We also recognize exceptional commitment and service through the Visa Volunteer Award, honoring the personal volunteer service of our employees.

It’s going to be a great month, and we look forward to highlighting how our employees have made a difference! Employees can tweet photos from events using the #VisaGivesBack hashtag.


Posted by: Jamie Horst, Corporate Initiatives, Visa Inc. on November 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

Oct 28, 2013

Cherie Blair on New Mobile Financial Services Initiative for Women in Nigeria


This week I’m speaking at the Financial Inclusion 2020 Summit, an event that is promoting a global campaign to bring ordinary financial services – banking, credit cards, pensions, etc – to more than 2 billion people around the world who are currently excluded from these everyday services.

It’s an issue that is particularly important to me and my Foundation for Women, which promotes women entrepreneurs in the less developed parts of the world, and through which I’ve learned how hard it is for women to run a business without banking facilities. More than that, everyone needs financial services to manage their day-to-day lives and prepare for a better future. But very few in middle-income and especially low-income countries enjoy the access to quality services from formal financial service providers that many of us take for granted.

In wealthier countries, nearly 90% of the population have basic bank accounts. Most middle-class people are supported at every turn by financial services – such as credit cards for everyday purchases, mortgages to buy a home, quick and easy payment services, insurance or pensions. But in low and middle-income countries, the story is different.

More than 2.5 billion people lack access to quality financial services and at least half of that number will include women. If we want to make an impact on financial inclusion, that effort has to include women. Recent research findings from my own foundation, Visa, BFA and GSMA show that not only are women missing out on access to mobile financial services, they are also missing out on the retail opportunities related to these services.

In partnership with Visa, my foundation aims to address this gap, with a focus on Nigeria. Our project will result in 2,500 women becoming agents in the retail network of a leading financial services provider. As retail agents, they will bring branchless banking and mobile financial services to tens of thousands more women in Nigeria. Alongside the retail agent opportunities, the women involved will also benefit from training and capacity building support.

Our primary aim is to enable a greater number of women entrepreneurs to enter the electronic payment value chain in Nigeria – a sector that is set to grow tremendously in the coming months and years.

Why start in Nigeria? Women in Nigeria experience cultural, social and systemic barriers to entrepreneurship including poor infrastructure, lack of connectivity and other barriers. Three times as many men as women have the benefits of being registered as self-employed in the country, and while there are women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, the majority of them are forced to operate in the informal sector. This collaboration would offer opportunities for women to set up registered businesses in a growing sector.

There is a commercial opportunity as well. With only 30% of Nigeria’s population (84.7 million) using banking services and with more than 159 million mobile phone subscriptions, there is great potential for agent banking and other models which enable remote access to financial services in the country. This is as yet an untapped market representing a multi-million dollar industry.

This partnership is a significant step forward towards financial inclusion for women in Nigeria. Economically empowering women by giving them access to the same financial services as men,  is not only a smart way to raise the status of women and their quality of life but also brings benefits to the families and communities of the women who succeed. My foundation is looking forward to developing this project further and driving financial inclusion for women in Nigeria.


Posted by: Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women on October 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Oct 28, 2013

Feeling Generous? Visa Joins Starbucks With Tweet-A-Coffee

Many of us take to Twitter on a regular basis to share our opinions, thoughts and lives with others. Starting today, consumers can use Twitter to share something different with their followers – a coffee.

Visa is teaming up with Starbucks to let Americans send the gift of coffee to anyone on Twitter  through tweet-a-coffee. As of this morning, Twitter users can sync their Starbucks account to Twitter and Tweet to @tweetacoffee, allowing you to send any of your Twitter followers a coffee. The person of your choice will receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift that can be redeemed at participating U.S. Starbucks locations. And today through November 6, the first 100,000 customers who tweet a coffee using their Visa card will also receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift, courtesy of Visa and Starbucks. Limit one per person.

You can learn more about how to tweet-a-coffee at, where you can also set up a account if you don’t already have one.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on October 28, 2013 at 6:16 am

Oct 23, 2013

Secrets of Small Business Success Series: Insider’s Perspective with Nikhil Arora (Video)

In our last video blog by Donna Fenn, she sits down with one entrepreneur who tells her when he starts thinking of holiday planning for his business, and also a campaign that gives back just as much as it gets during the holiday season.


Janet – @jzablock


Secrets of Small Business Success Series: Insider’s Perspective with Nikhil Arora (Video)

We sat down with Nikhil Arora, the co-founder of Back to the Roots, to talk about how his company, which makes grow your own mushroom kits and aqua farms, prepares for the holidays. Hint: you can’t start too soon!

Disclaimer: Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal counsel to determine what laws and regulations may apply to your specific circumstances. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on October 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

Oct 22, 2013

Secrets of Small Business Success: The Price is Right: Use Pricing to Maximize Holiday Cash Flow

All good things must come to an end. We hope you have enjoyed the Small Business Success Summer Series with Donna Fenn. This will be her final blog post, but stay tuned tomorrow for her interview with Nikhil Arora, the co-founder of Back to the Roots.

For her final tip on making the holiday season a smashing success, Donna had the chance to sit down with three small business owners and chat about how to maximize holiday cash flow, which can be overwhelming with all the holiday hustle and bustle.


Janet – @jzablock


The Price is Right: Use Pricing to Maximize Holiday Cash Flow

By Donna Fenn, Small Business Author and Expert

Many entrepreneurs have love/hate relationships with the holiday season.  At this time of year your business may be firing on all cylinders and the cash may be rolling in, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed unless you have a solid strategy for keeping the flow of business on track.  One great way to do this is by using pricing to your advantage.

Use discounting strategically. At ScanDigital, a company that digitizes photos, slides, and film, CEO Anderson Schoenrock, says he typically sees a 40% increase in sales over the holidays. While the company offers discounts throughout the year, “we offer our final discount of the year on Black Friday,” says Schoenrock.  “From that point forward, all orders are processed at full price.  Between better efficiency due to the sheer volume, as well as more full-priced orders coming through the door, we see profitability increase by 10-15% during the fourth quarter.” Last year, the company offered 20% off plus free shipping (which essentially amounted to 30% off).  This year, Schoenrock says he’ll offer a straight 30-35% off to drive larger volume, and he’s considering a tiered discount structure to incentivize larger orders.

Connect your price break to a cause.  “When you’re buying a gift for someone, it’s nice to feel that you’re giving back,” says Joy Chopak the founder of Gunamuna, a startup that makes wearable sleep sacks for infants, which can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Chopak offers a 20% holiday discount on select products to retailers and directly to consumers in October, which is also SIDS Awareness Month. “We donate to the Safe Sleep Campaign and we also ask retailers and consumers to pass some of their savings on to the charity as well, “says Chopak. The price break also encourages retailers to stock up early for the holidays, which gives Chopak’s cash flow a boost and makes her own holiday schedule a bit more predictable.

Stand firm on pricing. “We don’t get into a race to the bottom on pricing,” says Chris Zane, the owner of Zane’s Cycles in Branford and Fairfield, Conn. “So we don’t ever have a holiday sale.” What he does instead is make post-holiday returns very easy for his customers. “All year, we have an unconditional return policy,” he says. If customers know they won’t have a hard time returning an unwanted gift, they’re more likely to spend, even at full price. After the holidays, Zane typically gets $15,000 to $20,000 in returns, which can wreak havoc on cash flow. So he offers every customer the choice of a full refund or a store gift card with an additional 10%. “90% of people will take the gift card,” says Zane. “So we don’t lose cash in the drawer at a time when we really need it.”


Remember that your primary goal should be to make your customers feel comfortable buying your product or service sooner rather than later.  Offer early discounts, promotions, or other incentives for them to pull the trigger before the rush. And when your promotion ends, stand firm on your pricing; an eleventh hour discount will only encourage the procrastinators.

Disclaimer: Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal counsel to determine what laws and regulations may apply to your specific circumstances. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on October 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

Oct 15, 2013

Secrets of Small Business Success: Strategic Online Marketing for the Holidays

While some believe that “if you build it (your website), they will come,” most small businesses should face the reality that there is a lot happening online to distract their customers. How do you cut through the clutter and stand out? As part of her holiday series, Donna Fenn shares tips from successful small business owners on how they are differentiating themselves from competitors via online promotions. From working with bloggers to getting in the gift-giving sprit, you’ll have four bases covered this holiday season.


Janet – @jzablock


Strategic Online Marketing for the Holidays

By Donna Fenn, Small Business Author and Expert

Chances are you’re ramping up your online marketing campaign for the holidays right now – along with everyone else, unfortunately! As you look to reach your current and potential customers, the challenge is to market to your customers in the places where they’re most likely to notice you, and with messages compelling enough to convert prospects into buyers. To help differentiate yourself from your competitors, consider trying these online marketing strategies:

Court the right bloggers. Diana Charabin, founder of Tiny Devotions, taps into bloggers who write about yoga and contemplative practices to help her get the word out about her mala beads, which are frequently used in meditation. Rather than approach very high profile bloggers who are typically inundated with requests to review products, Charabin instead targets “the mid-range bloggers – the ones who may just have a few thousand Twitter followers, but they’re very die hard.” She sends them her products, but makes it clear that there’s no obligation to write about the company. It’s a strategy she can use throughout the holiday season, as bloggers are always hungry for content that can be turned around quickly.



Have a mobile strategy. Dr. Marvin Lee, a Los Angeles-based chiropractor, has been working with a company called Signpost to help him with online marketing and to ensure that his content and offers are mobile friendly. “I’m a doctor and I don’t want to wear a marketing hat,” he says. “But you need an online presence, and if that doesn’t translate to mobile devices, you’re behind the times.” For a quarterly fee of $375, Signpost promotes his business on multiple channels, including Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, Amazon, and Google. Over the holidays, he’ll promote a special $39 introductory offer that includes a consultation, a first adjustment, and x-rays if needed. “My job is to convert the lookers to regular patients,” he says.

Offer gift-giving advice.  At Book Bouquet, founder Kim Shanahan is already busy marketing her company’s book-centric gift baskets on Facebook. “Every day, we’ll have a post that’s related to how people within our company are using the special that we’re promoting,” she says.  That may include gift baskets for coffee-lovers, cooks or movie buffs. She also offers customers the option of spreading payments over three months.

Personalize your communication. Sure, your customers want to feel that you know them, but they also want to know you. Ada Polla, CEO of the family-owned skin care company, Alchimie Forever, says that email blasts containing images of and content about her mom and her three sisters “get click rates that are much higher.  We’re a family-focused company and email is much more successful when it’s highly personal.”  This year, Alchimie will offer a 30% friends and family discount on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the email blast will contain images of all four Polla sisters peppered with a bit of family storytelling.

Remember that one of your greatest strategic advantages over your larger competitors is your ability to connect intimately and authentically with your customers. Online marketing enables that, but also make sure that you’re not just “broadcasting.”  Now’s the time of year when you need to make certain that you’re also engaging in dialogue with customers who respond to your online marketing efforts.

Please check out other posts in our “Secrets of Small Business Success” series:

Secrets of Small Business Success: Your Best Strategy for Attracting New Holiday Customers is Hiding in Plain Sight

Secrets of Small Business Success: Holiday Marketing: Be Memorable and Meaningful

Disclaimer: Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal counsel to determine what laws and regulations may apply to your specific circumstances. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on October 15, 2013 at 8:05 am