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Visa claims world ready for mobile financial services

Visa Inc. plans to work with the GSMA to advance the delivery of mobile financial services around the world.

As part of the continuing collaboration between the two organizations, the GSMA has selected Visa as a provider for mobile money transfer services globally and is working to execute an agreement to formalize participation terms. This announcement was made at the GSMA Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain.

"When you look at opportunities for financial services companies to provide services via mobile and wireless carriers provisioning these services it is a complement of two ecosystems,"said Tim Attinger, global head of product development at Visa, San Francisco. "Both Via and GSMA operators are looking for ways to provide more value to people who are on the go.

Mobile phones are lifestyle tools for today's consumers, especially in developing and developed markets.
The partnership between Visa and the GSMA indicates 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 GSMA, Washington.

This news 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 carriers launched mobile payment trials in Canada, Switzerland, France and Britain.

Many of the 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.

Visa has several mobile products.

In December, Visa launched Visa Mobile on Android. It claims it is the first commercial service in the U.S. that bundles mobile offers, transaction alerts and a locator service.

Mobile Visa payWave is the company's secure mobile point of sale payment using Visa payWave, which is embedded in a mobile device. Visa will demonstrate both NFC-based and SIM-based contactless payments at the Mobile World Congress show.

Visa also allows mobile users to use Mobile Money Transfer, which lets account holders transfer between Visa accounts, both handset-to-handset and online-to-handset.

Mobile Transaction Alerts are the financial company's near real-time notification of card purchase activity delivered to the mobile device.

Visa also sends targeted offers and coupons to opted-in account holders' mobile device. The offers and coupons can be redeemed at near-by merchants.

Visa's Mobile Merchant enables convenient cashless transactions on the move. Mobile merchants, such as a pizza delivery service, can accept Visa payments with the help of enhanced mobile handsets that double as a mobile acceptance device.

"I think one of the key things to think about is that Visa is driving more consumers to businesses and helping them makes transactions on the mobile side,"Mr. Attinger said. "Now Visa is working to drive financial services to the mobile phone for maximum distribution.