Visa has stepped up its push into mobile payments with a commercial roll out of the technology in Peru and the formation of a global alliance with NeuStar, an interconnection service provider for wireless network operators.
The card network has teamed with VisaNet Perú and Telefónica to launch its first commercial m-payments service in Latin America.
Pago Móvil con Visa (Visa Mobile Pay) lets account holders with credit or debit cards issued by Banco de Crédito, Interbank, BBVA Continental and Scotiabank pay for products and services over the wireless network.
Initially, Visa account holders will be able to use their mobile phone to pay for cab fares and send flower arrangements, as well as to top up their wireless pre-paid account. Other areas are scheduled to be added, such as deliveries of pharmaceutical products, gas distribution and catalogue orders.
Visa says its service is particularly appealing to merchants in remote regions and to mobile businesses with no access to a wired telecommunications infrastructure because it eliminates the need for a traditional payment terminal.
Tim Attinger, global head, product development, Visa, says: "We are reaching a tipping point where our early efforts in testing mobile payment technology around the globe have begun to drive mobile commerce from tests into full commercial deployment."
In a separate move, the card giant has teamed with NeuStar in a bid to accelerate the adoption of mobile financial services around the world.
NeuStar's carrier grade infrastructure provides interconnection services to global network operators and their partners. Visa will tap the service to get a single point of entry to operators as it seeks to extend its mobile services around the globe.
The partners claim their alliance will provide new channels through which Visa's bank clients can reach their customers and create new revenue streams by tapping services services such as mobile transaction alerts.
In addition, it will help deliver mobile financial services to consumers in places with low penetration of payment products and financial services.
Elizabeth Buse, head of product, Visa, says: "This initiative has the potential to accelerate delivery of mobile financial services in both emerging and developed economies. Those services include mobile payments, wireless top-up of prepaid accounts, money transfer, value-added services such as alerts and offers and mobile acceptance of electronic payments."