Visa (NYSE:V), the world's largest retail electronic payments network, today extended the global reach of its Visa Money Transfer Service to greater China and the United Arab Emirates, two of the world's most active territories for international remittance.
In addition, Visa announced the launch of a new managed service that reduces the time and development investment required for a financial institution to offer Visa Money Transfer to its customers. Initially available in Canada and the United States, and later on a global basis, the service is intended to foster more rapid adoption of the service in marketplaces around the world.
Visa Money Transfer gives consumers a convenient, cost-effective and secure way to send funds directly to recipients' Visa cards domestically and internationally. Senders can initiate a Visa Money Transfer to make person-to-person payments, send funds to friends or family members, or make account transfers. Sender channels through which a Visa Money Transfer can be initiated include internet banking, Automatic Teller Machines (ATM), self-service kiosks, in person at a bank branch, or via the telephone.
Following these launches, Visa Money Transfer programs are offered to consumers in greater China, including Hong Kong; Georgia; India; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; Malaysia; Russia; Singapore; Sweden; Ukraine; and the United Arab Emirates. Visa Money Transfer is available via 50 sending institutions in 14 countries and territories around the world.
"Visa is well positioned to facilitate secure and cost-effective money transfer services by extending the capabilities of our global network that connects 1.7 billion accounts," said Elizabeth Buse, global head of product, Visa Inc. "This enables our clients to diversify into new fee-based services, while meeting their customers' need for a convenient, secure and affordable way to send money domestically and across borders."
Working with Leading Institutions
ICBC - The ICBC Visa Money Transfer program, launched in China today will be available initially in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and will provide the bank's 70.8 million internet banking customers1 a safe and convenient option to transfer funds to Visa cards globally. The World Bank estimates that more than US$5.7 billion was sent in cross-border remittances from China in 2008. The new Visa Money Transfer service will be targeted at those with family members working or studying abroad, primarily in Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, France and Germany and will make it easier for them to send funds.
EPS - For consumers in Hong Kong, EPS Hong Kong Limited (EPS), an online bill payment platform provider owned by 21 leading financial institutions, has also launched a Visa Money Transfer service. The service will be immediately available to customers of Standard Chartered Bank and Wing Hang. It gives customers of these banks in Hong Kong the ability to transfer funds to 14 countries in nine currencies either by phone or via its PPS online portal. Visa Money Transfer has broadened the PPS platform from a domestic bill payment service to now include international fund transfers. The PPS Visa Money Transfer platform allows the service to be extended easily to additional member banks of EPS based on bank and consumer demand.
Combined, the ICBC and EPS programs will help to deliver Visa Money Transfer to more than 72 million new consumers in Greater China.
UAE Exchange - Visa and UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance and exchange house in the United Arab Emirates, have come together to offer a cross-border Visa Money Transfer program. The service will be offered through UAE Exchange's network of 79 branches across the country. Visa Money Transfer will represent a new, more convenient funds delivery method to UAE Exchange customers. The service is scheduled to launch later in November, using Visa Processing Services for transaction processing.
Worldwide - The Visa Money Transfer managed service launched today provides Visa clients with an end-to-end packaged solution that gives them the ability to customize several elements of the service including consumer fees, branding, foreign exchange rates, transaction limits and language preferences, in addition to core transaction processing.
Continued Global Expansion
While the Asia Pacific region is leading the deployment of new Visa Money Transfer programs, significant momentum has been gained around the world. Recent momentum includes:
Singapore - Singapore Post Limited (SingPost), which last year became the first post office in the world to offer a Visa Money Transfer service, has expanded its international remittance service to four additional recipient countries and territories. Consumers can now send money to Visa cardholders in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Taiwan, in addition to Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Standard Chartered Bank has also teamed up with SingPost to offer a domestic Visa credit card repayment service through SingPost's self-service automated machines.
Russia - Nineteen banks in Russia already offer Visa Money Transfer through over 15,000 ATMs and kiosks in the country. In partnership with Alfa Bank, Visa introduced the first implementation of its enhanced Visa Money Transfer service for express funds transfer, now available to Alfa Bank and Severnaya Kazna customers.
Ukraine - In partnership with JCSB "Ukrsotsbank", Visa launched a money transfer service which, from May 2009, allows any Visa cardholder in Ukraine to use the service via one of the bank's ATMs for domestic transfers to other Visa cardholders in Ukraine.