Visa Inc. has created Visa Digital Solutions, a suite of tools and services to facilitate transactions carried out with mobile devices. According to Forrester (News - Alert), a research firm, commerce engaged in over mobile phones and tablets is expected to reach $114 billion in 2014 and shows no sign of slowing down. Because of this it is essential for companies like Visa to expand their offerings and make use of emerging technology to ease the transition.
Visa now offers three new payment methods that aim to simplify physical card swipes and online form filling. First is a service named payWave, which allows users to simply wave their card over a secure reader at checkout and then be on their way. Also available with payWave is a miniature card that is half the size of a normal one and a device that is attachable to a keychain. The reader can only recognize card information from one or two inches away and with the proper orientation. Visa has also made payWave available for financial institutions and developers to embed the technology into their mobile applications via a Software Development Kit (SDK).
Another new payment option is an infrastructure for users to simply scan a Quick Response (QR) code on their phone that is linked to their card information. Eliminating the need for a card altogether, this technology is one of many steps to integrate wallets and mobile devices.
Visa Checkout is the company’s flagship new service, aiming to compete with the numerous other digital wallet solutions on the market like PayPal and Google (News - Alert) Checkout. It enables users to make online purchases with a few clicks instead of having to fill out a form every time. The Application Programming Interfaces (API) and SDKs are again available for developers wishing to incorporate it into their websites and apps, respectively.
These innovative payment methods are supported by new security technology that Visa has developed to protect card information and help cut back on identity theft. Called the Visa Token Service, numeric “tokens” substitute account information and act in its place during transactions without ever needing to reveal or risk revealing the actual account details. They can be linked to specific devices and the user is given control over restrictions on its use. The tokens system is built on existing International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and so can be processed and routed with the same methods as traditional card transactions.
Some of these solutions are available immediately while others are still being fine-tuned, but it is expected all aspects of Visa Digital Solutions will be launched by the beginning of 2015. Through the Visa Ready program, relevant parties will be able to get acquainted with the technology beforehand to facilitate innovation and development.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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