Mobile payments are getting a boost in India — care of Visa. At the opening of its newest technology development center in Bangalore earlier today, the global card network announced the launch of mVisa — a new mobile payments service that will be tested over the next several weeks in the Bangalore region. Visa is working in partnership with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and SBI (State Bank of India).
“India has fast become one of the world’s most important technology epicenters with an incredible pool of technology talent,” said Charlie Scharf, CEO of Visa Inc. “Our new center in Bangalore, which complements others planned for Singapore and the U.S., will help Visa to accelerate the development of next generation payment solutions that enable secure, digital commerce through connected devices like mobile phones, PCs, tablets and even cars.”
MVisa will allow customers of participating banks to make purchases in-store or online, pay bills and move directly through P2P transfers. By downloading the mVisa app on either a smart or feature phone, a consumer can then link that device to any type of Visa account — debit, credit or prepaid. Once the app is active, consumers can initiate a transfer of funds to a merchant, utility or individual mVisa account holder. Transactions are processed via Visa’s global network, VisaNet.
Starting in September, mVisa will be available to 20,000 merchants in the greater Bangalore region. It is one of many recent pushes from the California-based card network as it looks to expand its global footprint and facilitate a greater shift away from cash-based commerce.
“For the past 50 years, access to Visa’s technology environment was tightly controlled and available only to developers at financial institutions and merchants — a strategy that helped drive the migration from cash to electronic commerce in a secure manner,” said Rajat Taneja, EVP of technology at Visa Inc. “Today, as commerce shifts to digital environments where consumers can make secure purchases using mobile devices, it is critical that we open up Visa’s network and make it easier for developers globally to access our payment platform — making secure Visa payments a standard feature of mobile applications.”