Visa has formally launched its mobile payments platform which has been designed to enable credit card issuers and mobile phone operators to develop and trial services that will allow cardholders to pay for purchases using their hand sets.
The initial version of the platform features solutions for contactless mobile payment, over-the-air (OTA) personalisation, coupons and direct marketing. Visa says subsequent versions of the platform, to be made available later in the year, will include functionality for remote payments and person-to-person payments.
The platform has been developed in partnership with mobile technology companies, including handset manufacturers, chip suppliers, mobile applications developers, OTA service providers and mobile messaging providers.
Visa says the system is designed to make it easier for card issuers, mobile operators and technology providers to deliver mobile payment and account management services.
Patrick Gauthier, SVP, innovation, Visa International, says: "The launch of the mobile platform is a significant industry milestone because it will enable innovative trials and go-to-market strategies for mobile payment services globally."
In October last year Visa USA said it was conducting a pilot of mobile contactless payments technology at its California headquarters with a view to moving to a larger scale public trial over 2007.
Earlier in the year, 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.