Visa, Inc. recently signed up with three mobile commerce providers to allow their mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solutions to be tested and approved for use with Visa payments. At the same time, Visa also announced that some of its partners' solutions are now ready to accept Visa payments.
With these recent developments, Visa is pushing for a wider adoption of mobile commerce, particularly at a time when more merchants are beginning to jump into the game.
The new partners -- iZettle, SumUp and SCCP Group's Swiff - will be included in the Visa Ready Program to ensure that their solutions are ready for mobile commerce transactions.
In the meantime, some of the devices of Visa partners AnywhereCommerce and Miura Systems have been approved for Visa payments. This means AnywhereCommerce and Miura Systems can now use the Visa Ready symbol to market their Visa-approved devices.
"The Visa Ready Program is designed to provide innovators with an easy way to collaborate with Visa and gives merchants and consumers the peace-of-mind they need when transacting with a mobile phone," said Jim McCarthy, global head, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Visa Inc. "Mobile acceptance technology is precisely the kind of innovation we need to bring the benefits of electronic payments to more merchants, financial institutions and consumers around the globe."
Under the testing partnership with iZettle, SumUp and Swiff, they will be provided with Visa support to enable them to develop their solutions for Visa payments. Visa will be providing these partners with guidance and tools, including software design kits, so that their solutions will eventually be approved into the Visa Ready program. Once their solutions have been approved, they can also use the Visa Ready symbol to promote their solutions to more merchants.
All these efforts are intended to allow more merchants to participate in Visa's mobile commerce initiatives, particularly since industry researches show that m-commerce is gaining popularity and there's more room for growth.
Visa quoted a recent industry study by Timetric, which shows that mPOS is gaining acceptance among micro and small merchants. From 2011 to 2012, the number of mobile point-of-sale terminals in operation worldwide increased 111 percent, from 4.5 million to 9.5 million. By 2017, these terminals are expected to reach 38 million in 2017.
There is also room for more growth in the global adoption of mPOS, according to recent Javelin Strategy and Research. In the US alone, 70 percent of merchants, or approximately 19 million, are not yet ready to offer electronic and m-commerce payments. If these merchants migrate from paper to electronic payments, their spending represents a US$1.1 trillion annual opportunity.
"Mobile POS opens up the market to all merchant tiers, from the largest big box retailers to the smallest micro-merchants, which never would have dreamed of accepting card payments in the past," said Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Mobile, Javelin Strategy & Research. "Our research shows the attraction of mobile POS also extends to the other side of the counter: the majority of consumers view mobile checkout as very or extremely convenient."
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