Alternative Finances

Long Live Credit Cards Says Visa Europe CEO

Visa Europe CEO Nicholas Huss defended the case of credit cards in Europe during MoneyConf in Belfast, reports International Business Times. Huss explained that while contactless payments are indeed on the rise in Europe – with 2.4 million contactless paypoints at the moment – ultimately it is to the advantage of Visa Europe. Contactless “paves the way to mobile payments,” said Huss.

By 2020, one in every four Brits, for instance, anticipate that they will spend more than £50 (around $77) a week via mobile payments. That’s how commonplace European consumers who participated in a Visa Europe study expect mobile payments to become. In a recent press release, the credit card provider even believes that the actual rate will be much higher.

At the beginning of 2015, Visa Europe formally announced a plan to invest an additional 200 million euro into developing its digital payment technology as a response to company reports that contactless and digital payments had grown in 2014, especially in Europe. Its current strategy builds on V.me, Visa’s mobile wallet launched in 2012, which allows its users to store payment and shipping preferences in a V.me account – via mobile or tablet – and shop on any website where V.me by Visa is accepted without having to enter card details for each checkout.

Visa Europe’s business model is to cater to the digital revolution which, it argues, is built on trust and safety. Visa’s V.me executive director Wendy Martin recently told the Financial Times that V.me has a number of security layers, one of which includes not sharing card details with merchants. “V.me also has a sophisticated fraud engine, which looks at patterns such as whether a consumer has used this device for payment before. It allows us to make a better set of risk decisions,” she said.

However, not all is rosy. IBTimes reports Visa Europe still spends a lot on fraud and that many merchants are not that happy to use the “ugly, outside-in” technology of Visa’s V.me wallet system. And while Visa Europe has big plans for the continent, Huss also said that it was impossible for his firm to convey an end-to-end experience, adding that Europe is “complex and fragmented.”

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