In 2014, commerce initiated with mobile phones and tablets is expected to total $114 billion in the U.S. alone, according to research firm Forrester. Two-thirds of those sales will happen via tablet computers, while the remainder will occur on mobile phones.
Therefore, Visa Inc. announced the creation of Visa Digital Solutions, a comprehensive suite of offerings that facilitate secure payments across a broad range of Internet-connected devices and wearables.
“Visa Digital Solutions provides the standards, tools and services to turn any Internet-connected device into a secure vehicle for commerce,” said Sam Shrauger, senior vice president, Visa Inc. “Smartphone manufacturers can securely load a Visa account within a device, merchants can directly embed Visa payment functionality into their mobile apps and financial institutions can offer mobile and online payments as part of their mobile banking applications.”
Visa Digital Solutions fall into two main categories:
1. Support for New Payment Methods
Visa is extending its support for mobile payments to enable retailers, financial institutions and developers to create new ways to pay via smartphones.
• Wave-to-pay: Visa recently published a software development kit (SDK) to make it easier for merchants, financial institutions and application developers to embed Visa payWave, Visa’s mobile payment technology, into their mobile applications. Issuers now have the option to host the Visa account information in a virtual cloud or in a secure chip on the mobile device.
• Scan-to-pay: In June Visa published an initial specification for presenting Visa account information in the form of a Quick Response (QR) code. The specification provides retailers with a new, secure option to accept a Visa payment by simply scanning a QR code on a smartphone screen.
• Click-to-pay: Last week Visa announced the launch of Visa Checkout, a quick and easy payment service that enables consumers throughout the United States, Canada and Australia to pay for goods online, on any device, in just a few clicks. Visa’s application programming interfaces (APIs) for Visa Checkout are available to merchant developers, as well as SDKs for in-app payments.
2. Technology That Protects Consumers and Supports Industry Innovation
As the number of online and mobile transactions has increased, so has the need to protect consumer payment account information. In September, Visa will introduce an innovative tokenization service that strengthens payment security while facilitating industry innovation.
The new Visa Token Service enables:
• Consumer Protection: Tokens replace the 16-digit account information found on plastic cards with a numeric substitute, facilitating payment transactions without sharing sensitive account information.
• Industry Innovation: Tokens can be stored directly in mobile devices, online eCommerce applications and cloud-based mobile applications, which will spur new commerce experiences.
• Restricted Use: Tokens can be limited for use with specific merchants, mobile devices or types of purchases.
• Convenience and Cost Effectiveness: Tokens linked to lost or stolen mobile devices can be instantly reissued without changing account numbers or reissuing plastic cards.
• Easy Processing: Tokens are based on existing ISO standards and can therefore be processed and routed by merchants, acquirers and issuers like traditional card payments.
Many offerings within the Visa Digital Solutions suite are already since 24th of July, with the full range of capabilities expected to be commercially available in the U.S. by January 2015, and global rollouts throughout the year. Visa Digital Solutions will initially be available through the Visa Ready program, which provides innovators a path for the certification of devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments. Visa will also launch an extended Developer Center in early 2015, providing product specifications, APIs, SDKs, as well as implementation guidelines for financial institutions, merchants and third-party payment providers.
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