Visa announces PayPal-like payment service for U.S. consumers

Credit card giant Visa has announced a new payment service for U.S. consumers set to launch in the second half of 2011. The new offering closely mimics services offered by PayPal, allowing users with a Visa-branded credit, debit, or pre-paid account to transfer money amongst each other. “Consumers in the U.S. will soon be able to receive and send funds to any eligible Visa credit, debit or prepaid account, anywhere in the world,” reads the press release. “By simply entering the recipient’s 16-digit Visa account, email address or mobile phone number, consumers can send funds directly from their bank account to a recipient’s Visa account.” The company has also partnered with payment networks CashEdge and Fiserv, allowing them to integrate their person-to-person payment platforms with the new service. The personal payment program outlined by Visa is already offered outside the U.S. in dozens of different countries. The full press release is after the break.

Visa Moves Beyond the Point-of-Sale – Delivers Personal Payments to U.S. Account Holders

Critical network enhancement, new transaction type, and strategic agreements with CashEdge and Fiserv enable U.S. Visa account holders to pay each other for the first time

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the global leader in payments, today announced that consumers in the U.S. will soon be able to receive and send funds to any eligible Visa credit, debit or prepaid account, anywhere in the world. The breakthrough service extends the utility of Visa’s network from enabling payments at the point of sale, to enabling consumers to pay one another.

The new Visa personal payments service, which eliminates the inefficiencies of cash and checks for payments between individuals, was made possible through technical enhancements to VisaNet, Visa’s global payments processing network, and through the introduction of a new Visa transaction type that allows financial institutions to accept incoming funds.

Additionally, Visa today announced strategic product agreements with CashEdge Inc. and Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), two of the leading providers of electronic person-to-person payment, account transfer and bill payment services to U.S. financial institutions. Through the agreements, CashEdge and Fiserv will have access to VisaNet, enabling them to integrate the Visa personal payment service into their respective person-to-person platforms – Popmoney® and ZashPay®. This will allow a participating bank’s customers to send money directly to a Visa account.

“For fifty years, Visa has worked to simplify payments at the merchant point of sale; we are now evolving our network capability to make it easier for our account holders to pay one another,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of products at Visa Inc. “Through our agreements with Fiserv and CashEdge, we can accelerate the delivery of new and innovative Visa payments services, and better enable financial institutions to extend these services to customers.”

How it Works

Bank customers of participating financial institutions will have the option to select a Visa account as the destination for funds when making a personal payment. By simply entering the recipient’s 16-digit Visa account, email address or mobile phone number, consumers can send funds directly from their bank account to a recipient’s Visa account. This makes sending money to a niece for her birthday or to a son in college simpler, faster, and more convenient than before.

“Providing a variety of fast, flexible payment options and establishing a large network through which consumers and small businesses can send and receive money are essential if we want them to trade checks and stamps for electronic payments,” said Erich Litch, president of Digital Channels at Fiserv. “Partnering with Visa allows Fiserv to grow not only the number of consumers and small businesses we can reach with the ZashPay service, but the ways we can reach them.”

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Visa on this initiative and leveraging their global network, which not only will allow Popmoney users to send money to recipients around the globe, but also will provide Visa customers with improved access to the convenience and security of Popmoney,” said Neil Platt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Banking, CashEdge Inc. “The global market is eager to adopt personal and mobile payments and by partnering with Visa we can help meet this demand.”

Visa personal payments are already offered by financial institutions outside the U.S. with more than 70 programs around the world enabling consumers to send funds to Visa accounts. Availability of the service in the U.S. marks the first time a major payment network has introduced a global requirement for account issuers to accept incoming funds and thus enable a new generation of personal payment services.

The first U.S. financial institutions are expected to make Visa personal payments available to their customers through CashEdge and Fiserv by the second half of 2011.

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