It’s no secret that credit card companies are shelling out big bucks and aggressively forming partnerships and deals to start cashing in on the mobile and digital payments innovations currently taking place. American Express, which recently debuted its own digital payments product Serve, has been particularly aggressive on the partnerships front, striking recent deals with both Foursquare and Facebook. Mastercard has bet on NFC with a partnership with Google for Google Wallet and bought online payments gateway DataCash for $520 million last fall. And Visa has made a number of major moves in the mobile and digital payments space of late; including making an investment (and taking on an advisory role) in disruptive startup Square, buying virtual goods payments platform PlaySpan for $190 million, and acquiring mobile payments company Fundamo for $110 million. We sat down with Visa’s Global Head of Mobile Product Bill Gajda and the company’s Head of Global Product Strategy, Innovation and eCommerce Jennifer Schulz to discuss how the financial company is planning to compete in both mobile and digital payments.
There are three prongs to Visa’s mobile payments strategy. One of these is NFC, and focuses on payments using a mobile phone at a physical store. For background, NFC (near field communications) enables people to make transactions, exchange digital content and connect electronic devices with a simple touch. As we’ve seen with Google Wallet, Android phones such as the Nexus S are being built with NFC chips, making your cell phone a mobile wallet. Visa recently joined the ISIS network, a NFC mobile payment network that is a joint venture formed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. ISIS will soon launch in a number of markets, including Utah and Texas.
Good case how an existing firm defend itself on new turfs.