In late February 2013, Visa announced a “Visa Ready Partner Program” which is designed to encourage further migration from cash to electronic payments. Visa described the program as a way for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners, mobile network operators and others to easily navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem and to gain access to Visa IP, licenses and best practices within the merchant services industry. In other words, this program was designed to accelerate the deployment of new and innovative payment solutions globally.
New payment devices and solutions that are approved by Visa in this program will display a Visa Ready symbol.
What Does This Mean For Merchant Services?
In their statement, Visa recognized that new mobile technology is now allowing all kinds of merchants, large and small, to accept payments in innovative ways. Through this program, Visa is encouraging mobile point of sale solutions by defining requirements and best practices, providing applications, tolls and services to help with the development of mobile payment solutions and connect mobile payment solutions with a number of payment gateways in select markets. The Visa Ready Partner Program also provides access to documents and resources, collateral and brand usage guidelines to partners who are going through the Visa approval process.
The bottom line is that Visa is establishing clear guidelines for technical, security and usability testing. It also ensures that Visa transactions made with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is compliant with global chip and pin requirements, it establishes a required signal range for NFC devices and provides NFC device manufacturers with the Visa Ready symbol. Requirements for these technology standards might vary from country to country.
Who Does This Impact?
This program will impact mobile point-of-sale acceptance providers, mobile NFC-enabled device manufacturers (for instance, cell phone manufacturers), and chip and platform providers within the merchant services industry. Financial institutions and merchants should find it easier to adopt new and innovative ways that are approved by Visa to accept electronic payments.
This development clearly influences mobile point of sale device manufacturers and payments providers. However, as more and more businesses and merchants adopt mobile payment technology to accept payments through a variety of devices, it is also important for merchants to be aware of developments with regards to the regulations and industry standards being applied to the devices and platforms that are coming into the market within the merchant services industry.
Now is undoubtedly a time of rapid growth and development of technology for mobile payments devices, and through this program Visa is addressing this in an effort to encourage developers and mobile device manufacturers to continue finding new innovations. The merchant services industry is moving towards greater technology while keeping data security and functionality at the forefront.