Visa today launched a new partner program designed to accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally and further drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments.
The Visa Ready Partner Program paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners, mobile network operators and others, to easily navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem, and to gain access to Visa IP, licenses, and best practices.
"The pace of innovation in the payments industry requires a new approach that ensures innovative payment methods can be tested, approved and commercialised quickly," said Mariano Dima, Executive Vice President, Visa Europe. "While it is critical that we ensure new payment methods are secure and reliable, it is equally important to allow great ideas to become new ways to pay and be paid."
The Visa Ready Partner Program is designed to provide innovators a path to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with Visa's requirements, which may vary by country. It also provides a framework for the collaboration with Visa, as well as guidance and best practices to access the power of the Visa network. Mobile point-of-sale acceptance (mPOS) providers, and mobile NFC-enabled device manufacturers, chip and platform providers are among the stakeholders who are already playing a critical role in enabling new ways to pay and who will benefit from the Visa Ready Partner Program.
For financial institutions and merchants, the Visa Ready Partner Program will make it easier for them to adopt new, innovative payment methods that are approved by Visa and can help them drive business growth by expanding the use and acceptance of electronic payments globally. The program will use existing approval and certification processes from payments industry standards bodies and will rely on labs certified by EMVCo and the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SCC) to conduct testing of new payment solutions.
At launch, the Visa Ready Partner Program encompasses Visa's existing program for the approval of mobile NFC-enabled devices, as well as a new program togram to enable mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions that meet local requirements. In addition, Visa has developed the Visa Ready symbol to identify payment devices and solutions approved for use with Visa payments.
Visa Ready for Mobile Acceptance (mPOS) Solutions
Mobile technology is enabling merchants of all sizes to accept card payments. From sellers at the local farmers market to soft drink distributors, mobile devices paired with payment card readers are expanding the reach of electronic payments globally. As part of the Visa Ready Partner Program, Visa is paving the way for mPOS providers to accelerate the deployment of mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions by:
Defining mPOS requirements and best practices to support the open development of commercially-viable solutions and services, while upholding Visa's principles of security, brand integrity, and interoperability.
Providing applications, tools and services to enable the development of mobile acceptance solutions compatible with magnetic stripe, EMV-chip, and contactless card payments.
Making available open API (Application Program Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) to allow mPOS solutions providers in select markets to connect to Visa via a number of payment gateways, including CyberSource and Authorize.Net, acquired by Visa Inc. in 2010.
Providing access to documentation and resources to guide partners and vendors through the Visa approval process
Providing access to the Visa Ready symbol, collateral and brand-usage guidelines that can be used to market and promote Visa-approved mPOS solutions.
Visa Ready for Mobile (NFC) Payments
Mobile phones are also transforming the consumer shopping experience, allowing consumers to make purchases with a wave of their smartphone. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the short range communications standard that transforms mobile phones into payment devices, is expected to reach critical mass in 2013. According to ABI Research, more than 280 million devices with NFC technology are expected to ship in 20131.
As part of the Visa Ready Partner program, Visa is streamlining its compliance testing process for both mobile NFC devices and secure chips that host the Visa payWave application, by:
Establishing clear guidelines for extensive technical, security and usability testing with respect to the Visa payment functionality.
Ensuring Visa transactions initiated with NFC mobile devices are compliant with the global standard for chip-enabled payments.
Establishing a required signal range for mobile NFC-enabled devices hosting the Visa payWave application.
Providing NFC device manufacturers with a Visa Ready symbol that can be used to market and promote mobile devices as approved for use with Visa payWave.
Visa has played a leadership role in establishing global standards for new and emerging payment methods that are compatible with existing technology and security standards in countries around the world. The Visa Ready Partner Program will enable Visa and our partners to innovate responsibly, developing solutions that offer the same high degree of security, reliability and scale consumers have come to expect from Visa.