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Visa launches pilot mobile payment program
Posted: 15-Nov-2006 [Source: Visa USA]

[New Visa mobile payment pilot program involes the delivery of mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to mobile devices.]

San Francisco -- Visa USA today advanced its mobile strategy through the launch of a new pilot at its California headquarters. Following the successful completion of the industry's first large-scale U.S. mobile payment trial at Philips Arena in Atlanta earlier this year, Visa is now testing the delivery of mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to consumers' mobile devices.

The pilot, which is scheduled to launch in November with approximately 500 Visa employees in California, is expected to expand to public trials over the next year. Pilot participants will receive payment coupons and rewards that can be redeemed at on-site cafes located at Visa's corporate campus.

"With more than 225 million mobile phone users in the United States alone, it's only natural for consumer payments to extend to the mobile device," said Elizabeth Buse, Executive Vice President at Visa USA. "Visa is at the forefront of developing mobile payments and services - we're committed to delivering innovative products and functionality that bring greater convenience and payment choice to consumers."

A recent online survey conducted by Visa found that 61 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 are interested in making mobile phone purchases. Additionally, the survey revealed that more than half of U.S. consumers carry their mobile phones at least 75 percent of the time. The survey also showed that 64 percent of consumers are interested in receiving coupons via their mobile device.

Mobile: More than Just a Payment Option

Visa's mobile strategy takes advantage of the scale and flexibility of its global network to deliver both payment and value-added mobile services that drive value to consumers, merchants, and issuers. Visa's vision for mobile payment includes the secure, over-the-air delivery of payment account information to the mobile device, access to point-of-sale mobile payments using Visa Contactless and Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, as well as remote payments delivered through secure mobile messaging and the mobile Internet. Visa continues to evaluate mobile solutions that enhance consumers' payment experience, including real-time payment notifications and security alerts, mobile coupons and rewards, relevant content downloads that allow consumers to make informed purchases, as well as applications that enable consumers to transfer funds to a friend or family member.

"Combining Visa's global network with advanced wireless technology creates a powerful delivery channel for payments and information services from Visa," said Elizabeth Buse. "We are excited to take this next step and lead the way in the development of mobile applications."

Visa expects to conduct larger scale trials over the next 12-18 months to test both mobile payment and value-added applications that enhance consumer's mobile payment experience. Visa's mobile coupon trial comes after a successful Near Field Communications (NFC) pilot for mobile phones at Philips Arena in Atlanta, which concluded in May 2006. During the pilot, which was the first large-scale NFC payment pilot in the U.S., Atlanta Thrashers and Hawks season ticket holders enjoyed the speed and convenience of using their mobile phones to purchase refreshments and download digital content from "smart" posters embedded with NFC tags.

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