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Visa at Mobile World Congress: The Future of Digital Payments

By Bill Gajda, Global Head, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships • Visa

February 26, 2018

Mobile World Congress is billed as the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry – and it is. But it is also so much more than that. In addition to the expected unveiling of the latest smartphone handsets – or even last year’s launch of the retro Nokia 3310 – recent MWCs have also featured dozens of companies in robotics, IoT and artificial intelligence.

When Visa started showing at Mobile World Congress more than five years ago – before the big name mobile wallets were commercially available – people were surprised to find us there. Now, with new connected products launched almost daily, it’s more important than ever before to look at the role of the payment industry.

Since Visa launched more than 50 years ago, we have had a vision to be the best way to pay and be paid – now, technology and innovation is making that dream real in previously unimaginable ways. Today, the Visa network serves as a catalyst for innovation in commerce. The sharing economy, online marketplaces and e- and m-commerce all exist and thrive in large part because universal trust in the Visa brand and the technology systems that underpin that brand promise.

The ability to connect billions of devices in the world through our network is unprecedented. In many ways, it represents the beginning of a new era where digital payments are unconstrained by wired infrastructure – so, any connected device can be transformed into a Visa digital payment device.

The world – particularly Europe – continues to move away from cash due to a number of factors. The sheer number of payment methods has increased, as has the number of connected devices. Mobile connectivity is nearly ubiquitous, technology is supporting the era of “instant commerce”, and, finally, open platforms have democratized innovation – which has accelerated the growth of new technology.

Visa has constantly innovated to meet market needs over the years. Today, our approach is anchored in the belief that paying by Visa in the digital world should be as easy – if not easier – than it is in the physical world. So, we provide our clients and partners access to our network, products, tools and expertise to enable their growth and success.

Two years ago, we opened the Visa network with the launch of the Visa Developer Platform. Today, it has more than 90 APIs in 40 product sets to help companies of any size in any industry to integrate payments faster and easier than ever before. We also have a growing portfolio of digital payment services that enable tokenisation for e- and m-commerce. We are also expanding Visa Direct, our product for fast and secure payments that facilitates both P2P and business disbursement.

All of these are supported by our collaborative innovation approach that leverages our network of Innovation Centers and Studios in Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Stockholm, and Tel Aviv. In them, we host co-creation sessions based on human-centric design to help our partners find solutions that solve business challenges and eliminate customer friction points.

At this year’s Visa booth (Hall 4, Booth 4B20), we’re bringing this story to life with demonstrations of the work we’re doing in transportation and retail. If you’re at Mobile World Congress, drop by and see our demos. If you can’t make it, we’re sharing updates on this blog and in social media, so check back to learn more.

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