Visa confirms eight new markets for digital wallet by Visa

  • Further €200 million investment to support development of digital payments services and targeted retailer adoption
  • Eight new markets join existing services in the UK, France, Spain and Poland
  • Visa Europe takes the lead on Pan-European digital wallet interoperability

London, 17 July 2014:  Visa Europe today confirmed that its digital wallet service, by Visa, will expand to Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Italy by the end of the year. Pilots will also launch in Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2015, taking the total number of markets offering the service to 12.

Visa Europe is also announcing a further €200m investment to support the development of its European digital payment services. This will include a dedicated retailer adoption programme to increase the 20,000 retailers who already support the by Visa service. Today, this number includes merchants such as Leclerc Drive, the leading French retailer in the e-commerce area, PC World and Clarks in the UK, and and E.Leclerc in Poland. by Visa is a bank-branded digital wallet, allowing banks and financial institutions to put their own name and branding on a service that is powered by Visa. The service operates today in the UK, France, Spain, and Poland. Its phased launch has seen selected customers of participating banks offered access to the service, with commercial launches (widespread consumer availability) beginning from 2015.

Wendy Martin, Executive Director, by Visa, said: “Acceptance and scale are the two big challenges in the expansion and adoption of digital wallets. Our additional investment in retailer adoption across Europe is a reflection of the importance we place on the retailer community.”

A European wallet for European customers

Earlier this week, Visa Inc. announced Visa Checkout, a new service that enables payments for ecommerce to be faster, easier and more secure for both consumers and online retailers. Visa Checkout replaces by Visa and is being offered in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Martin added: “We believe in a European wallet for our European customers. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to retain the by Visa brand, along with its bank-centric approach.”

To accelerate adoption of the by Visa service, Visa Europe has also announced the establishment of a European Interoperability Working Group. This initiative will allow Visa Europe to support the goal of pan-European interoperability for local digital wallet solutions.

Martin added: “We recognise that some banks have chosen to develop local digital wallet services to meet the specific needs of their market. It’s our intention to work with these services to bring them the benefits of pan-European interoperability, through the by Visa acceptance network.”

Steve Perry, Chief Digital Officer at Visa Europe, added: “Today’s announcement reflects our belief that digital wallets have a pivotal role to play in the future of payments. We are making a long-term commitment to by Visa as a critical part of our digital payments strategy. I’m particularly delighted to be chairing the new European Interoperability Working Group. This continues Visa’s long tradition of leading and facilitating common practices to deliver simple and secure payment methods for the benefit of consumers and retailers.”

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe. 

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves.

There are 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. In the year to September 2013, total expenditure on Visa cards reached €2 trillion, while point-of-sale spend increased by 8.5% to €1.4 trillion. Annual online spending on Visa cards continues to grow (20% year-on-year) and now stands at €240bn.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe.  Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

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