Visa International has established Visa EU, a European outfit with autonomy to run its own business within the international by-laws, similar to Visa USA and Visa Canada.
Hans van der Velde, Visa EU president, says: “This decision is a further step in implementing Visa’s strategy of decentralisation, enabling us to respond more quickly to the needs of the European market and our European members. It is in marked contrast to the approach being taken by the competition.”
The new company will be able to respond more quickly to European initiatives and market opportunities, as well as developing unique regional products and services, for example in mobile commerce and chip cards, where Europe is already advanced.
The move will give European member banks a greater say in the development of the company, says van der Velde, and may even lead to commercial spin-offs and collaborations with non-bank investors.