Visa has launched four new programs designed to deliver payments and services via mobile devices. Two commercial mobile payments programs in Brazil and Korea, along with two mobile offers and transaction notification pilots in the United States now add to more than a dozen pilot and commercial programs enabled by the Visa mobile platform.
Visa’s investment in its mobile platform comes as more consumers in both developed and emerging markets adopt mobile devices. According to the GSM Association, there are nearly 3.5 billion such devices in the world with the greatest growth coming from developing countries.
The Visa mobile platform was created to help financial institutions, telecommunications providers and handset manufacturers tap into technology to deliver both mobile payments and related services. The latest programs include:
–In Brazil, Visa has made available remote mobile payments by Banco do Brasil. It is the first program of its kind in Latin America, enabling the bank’s Visa cardholders to pay with their mobile device and confirm the transaction via text message. The service is accessible through any Brazilian mobile carrier serving the more than 140 million subscribers in the country. Companhia Brasileira de Meios de Pagamento (VisaNet Brasil), the acquiring institution for all Visa debit and credit payment transactions in the country, will be running the deployment of this technology in Brazil.
– In Korea, a partnership with T-Money provider Korea Smart Card Company, card issuer Shinhan Bank and Korea Telecom Freetel enables commuters to use their Visa account to top up their T-Money balances automatically on the phone’s SIM card when it falls below a certain level. By conducting the entire transaction automatically over the mobile network, commuters no longer have to wait in line at transit kiosks to top up their transit accounts.
– In the U.S., Visa recently announced a partnership with Chase Bank for a pilot program to deliver mobile offers to select consumers in Phoenix. With more than 50 participating merchants, the program has the capacity to handle 5,000 participants who will receive offers, including discounts or special deals, directly to their mobile devices via text message. They will be able to redeem these offers at the merchant’s location or online. The pilot will also cover special game day offers for baseball fans attending games at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
– Visa is also working with multiple issuers, such as PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo in the United States, and RBC, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity in Canada, to trial a transactions notification program that is able to send near real-time information to cardholders. Participants will receive e-mail or SMS text messages on their mobile devices whenever one or more transaction triggers occur, sometimes before they leave the store. These mobile notifications will be created simultaneously with the transaction, providing cardholders with a way to monitor and manage their accounts.
These latest mobile payment initiatives join a series of existing Visa pilots in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and other countries.