Visa has released a statement saying Tencent’s announcement that it will support international card schemes in its mobile wallet is “a great step forward” for the payments industry.
“Visa believes this is a great step forward, both for consumers travelling to China and the overall payments industry. In a truly global commerce environment, collaboration is essential to provide consumers with a seamless payments experience,” Visa said in a release.
“Visa is excited to work with Tencent, one of China’s leading fintech companies, on a secure, convenient and interoperable mobile payment experience that will benefit the large number of international travelers visiting China,” the statement added. “This partnership means that we’ll be working towards an environment where Visa cardholders will be able to use their Visa card in China at the millions of places where WeChat Pay is accepted, instead of having to rely on cash.”
In other news, Visa has been pushing contactless payments systems in other parts of the globe.
Seven years ago, when Visa first started working on bringing contactless payments to London’s Mass Transit system, the landscape for tap and go cards looked very different. The technology, Visa Global Head of Urban Mobility Nick Mackie told PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster in a recent conversation, was still in its most nascent stages of deployment — outside of Europe the contactless cards essentially didn’t exist, and within Europe 1 out of every 400 payments in Europe made via contactless.
Seven years down the line, the landscape has shifted. In Europe, contactless card-based payments have come to dominate face-to-face payments.
“In London, you will see consumers standing at terminals and tapping even when they know the merchant doesn’t take contactless because it has just become that ingrained a habit,” Mackie said.
And while the progress in the U.S. has been much slower — and contactless payments have yet to have their big mainstream breakout moment — there is reason to believe it is on the horizon. As of its last earnings call, Visa announced that 8 out of 10 of its largest issuers would be putting contactless cards into the hands of their customers, and as of Oct. 30 Visa has 100 partners now enrolled in its global transit partner program.