"The pace of innovation in the payments industry requires a new approach that ensures innovative payment methods can be tested, approved and commercialized quickly," says Visa's Jim McCarthy.
Visa has launched a new partner program designed to "accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally and further drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments."
The Visa Ready Partner Program aims to make it easier for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners, mobile network operators and others to "navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem, and to gain access to Visa IP, licenses and best practices," by:
- Providing innovators a path to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with Visa's requirements.
- Providing a framework for collaboration with Visa, as well as guidance and best practices "to access the power of the Visa network."
"Visa has played a leadership role in establishing global standards for new and emerging payment methods that are compatible with existing technology and security standards in countries around the world," the payments network says. "The Visa Ready Partner Program will enable Visa and our partners to innovate responsibly, developing solutions that offer the same high degree of security, reliability and scale consumers have come to expect from Visa."
"For financial institutions and merchants, the Visa Ready Partner Program will make it easier for them to adopt new, innovative payment methods that are approved by Visa and can help them drive business growth by expanding the use and acceptance of electronic payments globally," Visa adds. "The program will use existing approval and certification processes from payments industry standards bodies and will rely on labs certified by EMVCo and the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to conduct testing of new payment solutions.
"At launch, the Visa Ready Partner Program encompasses Visa's existing program for the approval of mobile NFC-enabled devices, as well as a new program to enable mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions that meet local requirements. In addition, Visa has developed the Visa Ready symbol to identify payment devices and solutions approved for use with Visa payments."
Two areas of payments innovation are given particular emphasis by Visa in the launch announcement: mPOS devices and NFC.
Visa Ready for Mobile (NFC) Payments sees Visa streamlining its compliance testing process for both mobile NFC devices and secure chips that host the Visa Paywave application by:
- Establishing clear guidelines for extensive technical, security and usability testing with respect to the Visa payment functionality.
- Ensuring Visa transactions initiated with NFC mobile devices are compliant with the global standard for chip-enabled payments.
- Establishing a required signal range for mobile NFC-enabled devices hosting the Visa PayWave application.
- Providing NFC device manufacturers with a Visa Ready symbol that can be used to market and promote mobile devices as approved for use with Visa PayWave.
Visa Ready for Mobile Acceptance (mPOS) Solutions, meanwhile, aims to accelerate the deployment of mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions by:
- Defining mPOS requirements and best practices to support the open development of commercially viable solutions and services, while upholding Visa's principles of security, brand integrity and interoperability.
- Providing applications, tools and services to enable the development of mobile acceptance solutions compatible with magnetic stripe, EMV chip, and contactless card payments.
- Making available open APIs and SDKs to allow mPOS solutions providers in select markets to connect to Visa via a number of payment gateways, including CyberSource and Authorize.Net.
- Providing access to documentation and resources to guide partners and vendors through the Visa approval process.
- Providing access to the Visa Ready symbol, collateral and brand usage guidelines that can be used to market and promote Visa-approved mPOS solutions.
"The pace of innovation in the payments industry requires a new approach that ensures innovative payment methods can be tested, approved and commercialized quickly," says Jim McCarthy, Visa's global head of product. "While it is critical that we ensure new payment methods are secure and reliable, it is equally important to allow great ideas to become new ways to pay and be paid."