Visa to launch mobile payments and digital wallet services in 2012

In 2012 Visa Europe expects to see contactless cards hit 50 million in circulation in Europe, and the first launches of mobile phones enabled to make point-of-sale transactions. Visa Europe will also launch its new ecommerce digital wallet service in the latter half of the year.

Significant progress was made in payments innovation by Visa Europe in 2011 with a total of 30 million contactless cards issued and the first mobile payment services launched, with person-to-person payments and text alerts in October 2011. Strategic investments were also made by Visa Europe in Monitise and Beyond Analysis to assist in its delivery of its Future of Payments strategy.

Peter Ayliffe, Chief Executive, Visa Europe said: ”Despite the continuing economic challenges, spending on Visa cards by Europeans grew by 14% in 2011 as more consumers and retailers recognised the convenience, security and efficiency of electronic payments. The strongest growth, once again, was on debit cards.

“We expect this growth in electronic payments to continue during 2012 when we will be launching mobile payments and our digital wallet services. These new services, that are a key part of our future of payments strategy, will revolutionise consumers’ everyday shopping experience to the extent that by 2020 we predict that over half of all Visa transactions in Europe will be on a mobile device.”

Spend on Visa cards in Europe grew 14% in 2011, totaling €1.16 trillion, according to results released by Visa Europe today. This growth now means that €1 in every €7 of consumer spending in Europe is on a Visa card, up from €1 in €8 in 2010 and €1 in €18 in 2000.

The growth in debit, as the preferred payment card for Europeans, continued apace, registering 16% year-on-year growth in both value and volume of transactions made at point of sale. Nearly 80% of Visa spend is on debit cards in Europe.

Visa Europe processed nearly one billion transactions every month in 2011, registering a 19% year-on-year growth as the number of processed transactions reached 11.8 billion. This growth in Visa Europe’s processing services has prompted investment in a new data centre, which is twice the size of the current primary processing centre. This expanded operation will support anticipated future increases in processing, including growth in ecommerce transactions and mobile payments.

Fraud losses on Visa cards in Europe reached an all time low in 2011, with the fraud to sales ratio falling by 27% to 0.038%, meaning that fraud now accounts for less than four cents in every €100 spent. Much of this downward trend in the face-to-face environment can be attributed to the success of EMV chip technology, with more than 75% of all Visa cards in Europe now chip-enabled. The increased uptake of Verified by Visa by card issuers and merchants, together with real time risk scoring introduced into Visa Europe’s processing capability, are contributing to the reduction in e-commerce fraud.

Visa Europe, operating as a low cost, not for profit membership association, for the first time ever reported total revenues for the year of more than €1 billion. Following major investments to ensure delivery of Visa Europe’s ‘Future of Payments’, this produced a pre-tax surplus of €241 million. This sum was retained within the business to support capital and reserves which rose to €738 million.