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 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:
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites more than 750 of the world's mobile operators, as well as 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About Visa Europe
In Europe, there are over 360 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending June 2008 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of over EUR 1.3 trillion. 11.4% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card.
Visa Europe is owned and operated by its 4,600 European member banks and was incorporated in July 2004. In October 2007, Visa Europe became independent of the new global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual license in Europe. Please visit www.visaeurope.com for more information.
1 Based on payments volume, total volume, number of transactions and total number of cards in circulation.
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, 415-932-2564
Lorraine Pitt, +44 (0) 20 7795 5291
Hill & Knowlton for Visa Europe
Richard George, +44 (0) 20 7413 3410
Daniel Lowther, +44 7747 636 687
Richard Fogg, +44 7887 845 236