Visa USA is to conduct a pilot of mobile contactless payments technology at its California headquarters which is expected to lead to a larger scale public trial over the next year.
Around 500 staff will participate in the pilot and will receive mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to their mobile phones. The payment coupons and rewards that can be redeemed at on-site cafes located at Visa's offices.
Elizabeth Buse, EVP at Visa USA, says: "Combining Visa's global network with advanced wireless technology creates a powerful delivery channel for payments and information services."
The corporate pilot is expected to expand to larger scale public trials over the next 12-18 months to test both mobile payment and value-added applications.
Visa's mobile coupon trial follows a successful Near Field Communications (NFC) pilot for mobile phones at Philips Arena in Atlanta earlier this year. During the trial 150 Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks season ticket holders made payments at contactless readers supplied by ViVOtech at concession stands throughout the arena.
An online survey conducted by Visa found that 61% of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 are "interested" in making mobile phone purchases. The survey also showed that 64% of consumers are interested in receiving coupons via their mobile device.
Earlier this month MasterCard said it was teaming with Nokia and 7-Eleven stores to conduct trials of Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with contactless PayPass capability.
Bank of America has also been trialling contactless mobile payments technology as an alternative to low-value cash payments at its offices in Wilmington, Delaware.