Visa enables person-to-person payments in Europe

Multi-currency and Immediate Payments functions launch for Visa Personal Payments

London, 17 April 2013: Visa Europe today announced two significant additions to its Visa Personal Payments mobile service: Multi-Currency and Immediate Payments. The new functions will enable consumers to make instant transactions from their mobile phone to any Visa cardholder in Europe, in any European currency.

The Multi-Currency feature, which will be available by the end of 2013, allows payments to be sent and received across borders, bringing international money transfers to mobile devices and simplifying what can often be a complex and expensive process for those wishing to send money to an individual in another European country.

Immediate Payments, launching in the UK this week with other markets to follow later in the year, makes it possible for consumers to receive money sent via Visa Personal Payments in a matter of minutes*.

The Visa Personal Payments system now has 17 live and committed issuers across Europe. RBS and NatWest were the first in the UK to launch the service via their mobile banking app last month, which was downloaded by 1.7million consumers in its first two weeks.

Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President, Visa Europe, said: "Mobile payments have the potential to fundamentally change the way that people pay and are paid. The new Multi-Currency and Immediate Payments features combine the convenience of mobile device use with the ability to send money to 460 million Visa cardholders across Europe, solving a problem that millions of consumers face every day – giving money to another individual easily and securely."

Visa Personal Payments is a person-to-person payments service that enables anyone with a Visa credit, debit or reloadable prepaid card to accept payments from another Visa card without needing to share any account details.

Senders simply need to be registered for the Visa Personal Payments service and to know either the mobile phone number or Visa card number of the person they are sending a payment to. Payments are then initiated using a smartphone app offered by the sender’s bank. To collect money, consumers don’t need to be signed up for the service; they just need a Visa card, access to the internet and to submit a few basic details.

* Transactions may take up to 30 minutes.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 36 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. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

There are 470m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to December 2012, over €1 trillion (1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business.

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.

For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com