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Visa exec bullish about mobile contactless payments: ad:tech keynote

April 13, 2011

Contactless payments are emerging

SAN FRANCISCO – During his keynote session at ad:tech, a Visa executive said that his company is bullish when it comes to contactless mobile payments.

The executive discussed the trends that are emerging this year during the “Audience First: Driving Engagement through Digital” keynote.  He discussed how traditional mass media is being steadily displaced by the borderless exchange of content and data across laptops, smartphones and televisions.

“There is no question in my mind that as we look at the future, we will be accessing our money through different means, including through our phones,” said Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing officer of strategy and development officer at Visa, San Francisco.

First comes mobile
Visa believes that in the near future more consumers will be making their point-of-sale purchases via their mobile device rather than taking out their credit or debit cards.

Contactless payments are nothing new in the mobile space. Many merchants are using near field communication technology to enable point-of-sale purchases.

Last year, Visa made mobile contactless payments available commercially for various smartphones via DeviceFidelity Inc.’s In2Pay microSD platform.

Visa has tested and supports commercialization of In2Pay microSD for use with leading smartphones, after 18 months of technology development in partnership with Texas-based DeviceFidelity, and trials with leading financial institutions in the United States, Europe and Asia (see story).

Additionally, the company recently announced its sponsorships of the London 2012 Olympics where it will let consumers make mobile payments using the Samsung Olympic and Paralympic Games mobile handset (see story).

“We have about 17-20 percent of transactions happening in the online world, both through mobile phones and not,” Mr. Lucio said.

Additionally, the executive said devices such as tablets and smartphones are a great tool and vehicle to engage consumers.

“It starts with the consumer,” Mr. Lucio said. “Mobile is the perfect vehicle for engagement.

“It’s incredibly targeted and it allows you to engage in a premium engagement experience,” he said.

Then comes social
According to Mr. Lucio, social media also plays a big role for the company.

The executive said that there are three social media trends to watch out for – social commerce, local and social search.

“All these trends create a huge opportunity,” Mr. Lucio said. “We have to change the way that we do marketing.

“Marketers are overwhelmed with information as well,” he said.

Mr. Lucio said that he finds that many people are using three screens, especially when it comes sports.

Consumers are watching games on their TV, checking scores on their laptop and checking what their friends and family think of the game via Facebook and Twitter on their smartphone.

“You have to think about the audience first,” Mr. Lucio said. “It’s not only enough to know about the consumer and path transaction.

“The social Web has changed how consumers engage with brands,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Lucio said that gaming is also changing the way that consumers buy digital and virtual goods.

“Digital goods are purchased with real money,” Mr. Lucio said. “The level of engagement that people are having with gaming today is real engagement.”

Final Take

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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