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Visa, NeuStar Team to Propel Trusted Mobile Payments and Financial Services Globally

Visa Inc. and NeuStar today announced a strategic alliance designed to accelerate the adoption of mobile financial services globally.

Leaders in their respective industries, Visa and NeuStar share a heritage of enabling complex, trusted transactions, and providing the security and global interoperability that has enabled the growth of electronic payments and mobile telecommunications, two industries that now must collaborate in new ways. The alliance will combine the reliability, scale and security of Visa’s global payment network with NeuStar’s carrier grade infrastructure which provides critical interconnection services to global network operators and their partners enabling seamless delivery of mobile services to consumers worldwide.

“The Visa-NeuStar alliance provides Visa a single point of connection to mobile network operators around the globe and supports Visa’s global strategy to extend its products and services to the mobile channel,” said Elizabeth Buse, Head of Product at Visa Inc. “This initiative has the potential to accelerate delivery of mobile financial services in both emerging and developed economies. Those services include mobile payments, wireless top-up of prepaid accounts, money transfer, value-added services such as alerts and offers and mobile acceptance of electronic payments.”

NeuStar serves as a neutral intermediary to facilitate the safe and reliable transfer of data between mobile operators, and other collaborating parties in the delivery of mobile services to consumers. NeuStar adds value by providing a single point of contact for all services, simplifying the task for mobile operators and their partners to connect and offer new services to their subscribers. NeuStar also operates the GSMA’s PathFinder service, which provides a common global addressing and service discovery mechanism for traditional communication services, and is extensible to emerging services such as mobile money transfer. PathFinder also provides a key enabling foundation for the collaboration between operators and their chosen trading partners, including other operators and financial services providers, such as Visa.

“NeuStar, Visa and our operator partners represent trusted brands, Visa in payments and NeuStar in network data exchange, and operators in mobile communications,” said Steve Edwards, Senior Vice President of Converged Addressing Services at NeuStar. “This collaboration enables network operators, financial institutions, Visa, and consumers to move rapidly into the world of mobile payments and take advantage of the exciting opportunities ahead. We look forward to joining Visa, financial institutions, and mobile network operators in developing best practices and applications for mobile financial services.”

Benefits and Applications

The Visa-NeuStar initiative will deliver a host of benefits to mobile and financial services stakeholders globally by:

  • Enabling new channels through which Visa’s financial institution clients can reach their customers when and where they are ready to use mobile financial services
  • Creating new revenue streams by offering a new suite of financial services such as mobile transaction alerts and offers
  • Enabling delivery of mobile financial services to consumers in geographies with low penetration of payment products and financial services. Those services may include mobile remote payments for services such as bill payment and top-up for wireless airtime minutes and mobile money transfer
  • Improving time to market for mobile financial services by providing standardized and scalable infrastructure along with best practices for mobile money applications

For example, mobile operators will now have the opportunity to combine their data with information provided by a customer’s financial institution in order to create more personalized and relevant offers delivered by Visa’s mobile services to a subscriber’s mobile device. This has the potential to increase subscriber response rates to offers while increasing relevancy of messaging.

The collaboration will also enable the transfer of money to mobile accounts using the Visa network. For example, the Visa network could send funds to a mobile user’s account enabling the recipient to use funds deposited for wireless top-up of prepaid airtime minutes or bill payment for wireless services. The recipient may also access those funds through a Visa prepaid card or withdrawal at a nearby ATM.

The combination of Visa and NeuStar technology may also make it possible for operators to provide pertinent data regarding handset capabilities. Visa could then detect phone make, model, screen size, browser type, and multimedia capabilities to intelligently tailor the user experience for that handset.

New Business Models through Collaboration Across Networks

As a result of the alliance, announced at the GSMA Mobile Money Summit 2009 today, NeuStar and Visa are committing resources to support development of commercially viable programs to support new application use cases. The initiative is also designed to enable a more robust set of mobile payment services by allowing Visa, financial institutions and mobile operators to collaborate more closely and provide information-rich transactions that can make mobile payment services more personalized, functional, and secure.

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