As the largest payment card brand in the world it sets the standard for many of the other payments card brands and in 2013 it was no different. All of the big initiatives last year produced more value, convenience, utility and protection for Visa cardholders. Among the highlights of Visa 2013: Initiatives to Displace More Cash; Expanded M-Payment Acceptance: Airport Security Benefit; Speedy E-Purchases; Significant Upgrades to Fraud Detection; and the Expansion of Cardholder Perks.
READY PARTNER: Visa is determined to drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments to make life easier for its cardholders, merchants and issuers. The Visa Ready Partner Program, launched in 2013, is designed to provide innovators a path to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with Visa’s requirement. Mobile technology is enabling merchants of all sizes to accept card payments. Used everywhere from the local farmers market to soft drink distributors, mobile devices paired with payment card readers are expanding the reach of electronic payments globally. As part of the Visa Ready Partner Program, Visa is paving the way for mPOS providers to accelerate the deployment of mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions.
MOBILE PAYMENTS: Visa continued on its path to increase mobile payment acceptance for Visa cardholders by expanding the reach of electronic payments to new merchant categories. In partnership with ROAM and Ingenico, Visa will enable merchants of all sizes to accept electronic payments using mobile technology. ROAM will participate in the Visa Ready Partner Program and has agreed to bundle its mobile point-of-sale hardware peripherals with Visa’s acceptance solutions to offer merchants globally a cost-efficient and secure way to accept card payments. Visa says displacing cash payments with the security and efficiency of electronic payments continues to be a primary driver of growth for Visa and the global payments industry.
CLEAR: During 2013 Visa made it easier for its cardholders to glide through airports. Visa and CLEAR, the biometric identity service used in airport security, teamed to enable Visa Signature account holders to speed through airport security. Visa Signature account holders can enroll to receive discounted pricing on CLEAR membership with a six-month free trial plus $60 off the annual renewal rate of $179. CLEAR’s kiosks and lanes are currently operational in San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando, Denver, and Westchester County.
V.ME: Last year Visa added more merchants to its speedy eCommerce check-out service called V.me by Visa. Overstock.com joined other online merchants 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, LivingSocial, Newegg.com and 31 more since V.me’s launch. The free V.me wallet service is designed to simplify the eCommerce experience for merchants and consumers alike, whether shopping from a PC, laptop, or mobile device. Overstock.com is among the top five most-visited mass merchandiser websites, selling a broad range of products including furniture, rugs, bedding, electronics, jewelry and cars.
FRAUD FIGHT: Visa’s battle to combat payment card fraud was relentless last year aimed at protecting cardholders, merchants and issuers. Using Visa’s Advanced Authorization (VAA) technology it improves the ability of its global processing network to detect potential electronic payments fraud. Visa has increased the breadth of each account profile in the Advanced Authorization model by adding more transactional history data, along with additional neural networks to analyze that data. The account profile is a major component of the risk score assigned to a given transaction and provided to the issuer for them to make an authorization decision. The result is more robust performance and improvement of as much as 130% in detecting fraud in debit transactions and 175% for credit transactions.
E-COMMERCE FRAUD: Visa aims to protect eCommerce from fraud with a service that will notify eCommerce merchants of fraudulent transactions, allowing them to quickly stop the fulfillment process. Powered by Ethoca and CyberSource and using near real-time information from Visa on confirmed fraud transactions, Ethoca is able to send secure alerts to the affected merchants in the critical 24-72 hour window between when eCommerce orders are placed and when they are fulfilled or shipped, a significant reduction in time from the current average of three to six weeks it takes for merchants to be notified. Ethoca’s proven platform catches up to 73% of transactions authorized by issuers that are subsequently confirmed by consumers as fraud.
VISA OFFERS: Visa was very busy last year beefing up its Visa Offers program for cardholders. The enhanced service has the potential to eliminate paper coupons, allowing consumers, who opt in, to earn points and discounts as well as redeem special offers instantly at checkout by simply using their enrolled Visa card. The platform supports Visa’s commitment to offer solutions for retailer and financial institution clients of any size that allows them to deliver customized and differentiated benefits to Visa cardholders at the point-of-sale.Enhancements to the Visa Offers platform include support for real-time redemption of offers and rewards at the point-of-sale. This complements the existing statement credit capability.
SMALL BANKS: Small banks across the country are now able to deploy Visa Offers capabilities to connect their Visa account holders with unique merchant offers, discounts and other loyalty programs relevant to their interests and communities. ICBA Bancard member institutions are among the first to join the program. By bringing both national and local merchant offers to community bank customers, the Visa Offers program will help increase the relevance and value of Visa offerings to customers as they shop in their local community and transact on the go.
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