Visa Digital Solutions Launched to Facilitate Secure Payments for Wearables and Internet- Connected Devices

In 2014, commerce initiated with mobile phones and tablets is expected to total $114 billion in the U.S. alone, according to research firm Forrester. On July 24, 2014, global payments leader Visa announced the creation of Visa Digital Solutions, a comprehensive suite of offerings that facilitate secure payments across a broad range of Internet-connected devices and wearables.

Visa Digital Solutions provides the standards, tools and services to turn any Internet-connected device into a secure vehicle for commerce, said Sam Shrauger, a senior vice president at Visa. Smartphone manufacturers can securely load a Visa account within a device, merchants can directly embed Visa payment functionality into their mobile apps and financial institutions can offer mobile and online payments as part of their mobile banking applications.

  • Many offerings in the Visa Digital Solutions suite are available today, Visa says.
  • The full range of capabilities is expected to be commercially available in the U.S. by January 2015, with global rollouts throughout that year.
  • Visa Digital Solutions will initially be available through the Visa Ready program, providing innovators with a path for the certification of devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments.

Visa said it will also launch an extended Developer Center in early 2015, providing product specifications, application-programming interfaces (APIs), software-development kits (SDKs) and implementation guidelines for financial institutions, merchants and third-party payment providers.

Visa Digital Solutions fall into two main categories:

Support for new payment methods: Making a purchase with a mobile device at a physical retailer or online is becoming commonplace, particularly in countries with a high penetration of smartphones. Visa is extending its support for mobile payments to enable retailers, financial institutions and developers to create new ways to pay via smartphones.

Wave-to-pay: Visa recently published an SDK to make it easier for merchants, financial institutions and application developers to embed Visa PayWave, Visa’s mobile payment technology, into their mobile applications. Issuers now have the option of hosting the Visa account information in a virtual cloud or in a secure chip on the mobile device.

Scan-to-pay: In June, Visa published an initial specification for presenting Visa account information in the form of a Quick Response (QR) code. The specification provides retailers with a new, secure option for accepting a Visa payment, by simply scanning a QR code on a smartphone screen.

Click-to-pay: A couple of weeks back, Visa announced the launch of Visa Checkout, a quick and easy payment service that enables consumers throughout Canada, Australia and the U.S. to pay for goods online, on any device, in just a few clicks. Visa’s APIs for Visa Checkout are available to merchant developers, as are SDKs for in-app payments.

Technology that protects consumers and supports industry innovation: As the number of online and mobile transactions has increased, so has the need to protect consumer payment-account information.

Visa stated in its press release that in September it will introduce an innovative tokenization service that strengthens payment security while facilitating industry innovation.

The new Visa Token Service enables:

Consumer protection: Tokens replace the 16-digit account information found on plastic cards with a numeric substitute, facilitating payment transactions without sharing sensitive account information.

Industry innovation: Tokens can be stored directly in mobile devices, online e-commerce applications and cloud-based mobile applications, which will spur new commerce experiences.

Restricted use: Tokens can be limited for use with specific merchants, mobile devices or types of purchase.

Convenience and cost effectiveness: Tokens linked to lost or stolen mobile devices can be instantly reissued without changing account numbers or reissuing plastic cards.

Easy processing: Tokens are based on existing ISO standards and can therefore be processed and routed by merchants, acquirers and issuers, like traditional card payments.