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Visa aims to accelerate mobile payments adoption with new Ready Partner Program

Visa has debuted its new mobile payments and near field communication program that is designed to hasten the introduction of payment services globally.

Through the Visa Ready Program, financial intuitions and merchants can take advantage of payment technologies such as NFC and point-of-sale systems. There is no doubt that mobile payments have made a big impact in the mcommerce space last year and will continue to do so in 2013.

We recognize that the payments ecosystem has become more complex and increasingly difficult to navigate, especially for companies that are trying to make the payments experience easier, such as mobile operators, device manufacturers, digital wallet providers, and others,” said Matt Dill, global head of business development and emerging products at Visa Inc.

“The Visa Ready Partner Program will help to accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally by providing the structure and clarity our partners and clients need to develop and quickly introduce Visa-compliant devices, software, and solutions that can be used to initiate or accept Visa payments,” he said.

“It will streamline the process for the approval and licensing of new payment solutions and will enable our partners to more rapidly deploy products for use in the Visa payment system.  It will also provide access to Visa documentation and resources to guide vendors through the approval process, as well as access to open APIs and SDKs, certification and licensing.” 

Key players
Visa is looking for its partner program to paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners and mobile network operators to navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem, as well as gain access to Visa IP, licenses and best practices.

The Visa Ready Partner Program is designed to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with the company’s requirements, which may vary by country.

According to Visa, mobile POS systems, NFC-enabled device manufacturers, and chip and platform providers are among the stakeholders that are already playing a critical role in enabling new ways to pay.

Visa hopes that its partner program will help merchants, financial institutions and merchants adopt new innovative payment methods to help drive their businesses.

As part of the Visa Ready Partner program, the company is streamlining its compliance testing process for both mobile NFC devices and secure chips that host the Visa payWave application.

We will be presenting the program and its new set of tools, guidelines, and resources during the premier event of the trade, Mobile World Congress, which happens in Barcelona, Spain,” Mr. Dill said.

“We will be also promoting it through our client/partner communications channels,” he said. “And pretty soon, consumers will be able to see the Visa Ready symbol in Visa approved devices, including NFC-enabled phones and mobile acceptance devices.”

Future of mobile
Visa has been investing a lot in the mobile payments space.

In 2011, Visa announced that it wanted merchants, software developers and device manufacturers who are using mobile devices for processing credit card payments to encrypt account data and tokenize card numbers for security reasons (see story).

Later that year, Google received a worldwide license to Visa payWave, which helped both companies boost mobile payment adoption (see story). 

“At our core, Visa is a global technology company that has enabled the growth of electronic commerce for more than 50 years,” Mr. Dill said. “Our vision continues to be the best way to pay and be paid – for everyone, everywhere.

“We continue to promote economic growth and remove friction in commerce around the world by enabling a shift from paper to electronic payments,” he said. “We invest in new technologies, like mobile, and partner with leaders in the mobile industry to extend the benefits of electronic commerce to more people in more places.

“In developing countries, mobile technology is a significant driver of financial inclusion. It enables Visa and our partners in the mobile and financial services industry to give unbanked consumers access to formal financial services for the first time in their lives. In developed countries like the US, Canada, Australia, payments are evolving rapidly. New technologies, in particular mobile technology, are creating new possibilities, and new ways and places for consumer to pay.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York