Friday, November 24, 2006

Visa trails mobile coupons and rewards

Visa USA HQ Trials Mobile Phone Payments

Computer Business Review

Nov 21 2006 : Visa USA is to launch a mobile phone payments trial this month at its San Francisco, California headquarters. The pilot follows on from Visa's consumer trial of Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile phone payments at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

The San Francisco trial will involve around 500 Visa employees in California. Trial participants will receive mobile payment coupons and rewards via text messages and graphic and bar code images direct to their handsets. According to Visa, the coupons and rewards can be redeemed at on-site cafes located at its corporate campus. Visa says the pilot is expected to lead to larger-scale public trials over the next year which will test both mobile payments and value-added applications.

"With more than 225 million mobile phone users in the U.S. alone, it's only natural for consumer payments to extend to the mobile device," Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president at Visa USA, says in a statement. An online survey carried out by Visa USA recently found that 61 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 are interested in making mobile phone purchases. The survey also found that over half of US consumers carry their mobile phones at least 75 percent of the time and that 64 percent of consumers are interested in receiving coupons via their mobile handset.

The Atlanta trial, which was launched in December 2005, ended in September. During the trial, 150 Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks season ticket-holders with both a Chase-issued Visa credit card and a Cingular wireless phone account made payments at ViVotech contactless readers at concession stands throughout the arena.
Also, Atlanta trial participants downloaded content to their Nokia 3220 mobile phones such as ring-tones, screensavers and video clips of favorite players. The Nokia phones were equipped with NXP's NFC chips, Visa says.

Related Links
Issuer-Operator Disputes Delaying NFC Phone Rollout Says Analyst
Visa Offers Contactless Card Toolkit
MasterCard Announces European Contactless Trials
MasterCard NFC PayPass Trial with 7-Eleven and Nokia

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