Visa Europe and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the world's largest retail electronic payments network1, today announced plans to work with the GSMA to advance the delivery of mobile financial services around the world.
As part of the continuing collaboration between the two organizations, the GSMA has selected Visa as a provider for mobile money transfer solutions globally, and is working to execute an agreement to formalize participation terms. Visa is already a leading provider of money transfer solutions with active programs in 14 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
This announcement was made at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, the leading event for the mobile communications industry, where Visa is showcasing a range of mobile payment innovations.
"By combining the world's largest retail electronic payments network and the world's most popular wireless technology, we can take Visa beyond the card to mobile handsets, a move that can help accelerate the deployment of mobile payment services," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Head of Product for Visa Inc. "Beyond growing our business, enabling money transfer and payments on mobile handsets has the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide."
Mariano Dima, EVP of Marketing at Visa Europe, stated: "Mobile phones are lifestyle tools for a new generation of consumers in developing and developed markets. The partnership between Visa and the GSMA is a clear signal that the world is ready to embrace mobile financial services."
A key aspect of the collaboration between Visa and GSMA will be the creation of standards for mobile money transfer, mobile payments and related services. This collaboration will allow carriers and financial institutions to deploy mobile payments more rapidly and limit market fragmentation. Standardization also benefits consumers by promoting interoperability among carriers and institutions, ensuring a consistent and reliable experience and promoting faster adoption of the technology.
"The market is clearly ready for mobile payments and, importantly, the GSMA believes that Visa is well positioned to help us drive the adoption of financial serial ser financial services on mobile devices globally," said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer for the GSM Association. "Visa's comprehensive mobile strategy, its extensive experience in enabling consumers to transfer funds across borders and domestically, combined with its flexible approach, were deciding factors in our selection of Visa as a provider for mobile money transfer solutions. We are excited to advance our partnership with Visa to enable the delivery of these services through the mobile channel."
Ongoing Collaboration Delivers Results
Today's announcement marks the latest development in the ongoing collaboration between Visa and the GSMA. Recently, as part of the GSMA Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, Visa and several GSM mobile network operators launched mobile payment trials in Canada, Switzerland, France and the UK, and completed successful trials in Australia, Malaysia and Taiwan, which are all designed to advance the development of mobile payments at the point of sale. Importantly, many of these trials embed the Visa payment application into the SIM card enabling Visa account holders to easily switch the application from one handset to another.
Covering more than a thousand test users and select merchants, all of these trials demonstrated the ability to download and personalize payment software over the air and make mobile payments using the same point of sale equipment already in place at merchants to accept contactless card transactions.
"Recent Visa programs conducted in partnership with GSM operators have enabled us to refine the technology, security and processing requirements necessary to make mobile payments a reality," said Buse. "Our experience has taught us that consumers globally want access to secure, reliable and flexible payment options that harness the power of mobile devices backed by the trust inherent in Visa's brand and network."
Note to editors: Visa's booth at the Mobile World Congress is in Hall 7 Stand 7B42, February 16-19, 2009. Visa mobile product demonstrations include:
* Visa Mobile on Android: In December, Visa launched the first commercial service in the U.S. that bundles mobile offers, transaction alerts and a locator service. Visa Mobile is available on mobile devices powered by Android, including the T-Mobile G1™ phone.
* Mobile Visa payWave: Secure mobile point of sale payments using Visa payWave embedded in a mobile device. Visa will demonstrate both NFC-based and SIM-based contactless payments.
* Mobile Money Transfer: Demonstrations of money transfer between Visa accounts, both handset-to-handset and online-to-handset.
* Mobile Transaction Alerts: Near real-time notification of card purchase activity delivered to the mobile device.
* Mobile Offers: Targeted offers and coupons delivered directly to the mobile device and redeemed at near-by merchants.
* Mobile Merchant: Convenient cashless transactions on the move. Mobile merchants, such as a pizza delivery service, can accept Visa payments with the help of enhanced mobile handsets that double as a mobile acceptance device.
* Smart Poster: Co-branded mobile posters, signposting nearby coffee shops with the offer of exclusive mobile 'buy one, get one free' offers.