No doubt about it. We read Kathy Chu’s piece in this morning’s USA Today entitled “Asia-Pacific region embraces use of credit and debit cards” and knew we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. (Side note: while our very own Elizabeth Buse did say it herself when she was interviewed for the story and quoted throughout – the strength of this trend was highlighted by the chorus of industry backers, from the well-respected industry analyst David Robertson to even our competitors, concurring on the vast potential of the digital currency in Asia.)
Before you read any further, watch this video for Visa’s unvarnished take on where we’re headed in Asia and why the potential is so vast. Gordon Cooper, our Regional Head of Mobile Payment in Asia-Pacific, paints a pretty compelling picture. And Elizabeth Buse echoes his sentiment in USA Today; simply put: “’If you look out over the horizon in Asia, at what’s going to drive growth, it’s mobile technology,’ predicts Visa’s Buse.”
Trying to teach high school students about personal finance is not always an easy sell. Just ask Chauncey Veatch, an elementary school teacher in Mecca, CA with an incredible commitment to teaching his students about financial literacy and other life skills they can take beyond the classroom. But learning about money management is a crucial life skill and so to combat the inevitable classroom yawns, we decided to make financial literacy fun.
Using Visa’s sponsorship of FIFA and the World Cup as a starting point, we built Financial Soccer, an educational video game that tests players’ financial know-how as they answer multiple-choice questions and try to score goals.
Less than two weeks into the FIFA World Cup, it appears that the social media expectations referenced in Andrew Woodward’s last post are already being realized. In the first week of the tournament alone, FIFA, marketers and broadcasters experienced extraordinary online activity around the tournament. On June 15, FIFA tallied a record-breaking 10 million visitors to its official Web site in one day, while FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter’s Twitter handle, @seppblatter, rapidly gained a following with a recent vuvuzuela tweet attracting followers at a rate of 9 per second. TIME Magazine has credited social media for World Cup television ratings that are not only unusually high for the World Cup, but unusually high for sports broadcasts, period – including the first six games of the NBA Finals – pointing to the medium’s ability to distribute soccer-related content faster and farther than traditional media.
From the sound of the vuvuzelas to the action on the field, South Africa has managed to capture the spirit of sports fans this month. Since June 11, hundreds and thousands of passionate soccer fans from around the world have converged on South Africa to take part in the excitement and festivities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. As they have celebrated and cheered on their teams, these fans have also made a significant contribution to South Africa’s tourism revenues.
The rolling hills and rich farmland around Nashville, Tennessee are an appropriate location for the headquarters of Tractor Supply Company that, in the words of Brian Evans, “caters to people who like to get their hands dirty.” Brian is the company’s director of HR and an articulate advocate of Visa’s prepaid payroll product issued by Citi since 2007. The Currency of Progress team visited Brian and his team in Nashville to capture the latest video vignette. We were, dare I say it, inspired and a little humbled by stories told by payroll cardholders Linda Bennett and Cat Kitzmiller. While neither of them have bank accounts they both enjoy all the benefits of being a Visa cardholder, including online bill payment, acceptance at millions of merchants and ATM access. It’s all too easy to take these benefits for granted when you’ve had a Visa card all your adult life. As with other Currency “heroes”, Linda and Cat are not nearly as glib and nonchalant. They are honest and direct about why they prefer their card over the alternative. In Linda and Cat’s case, this means no exorbitant check-cashing fees and a greater sense of freedom and inclusion.
The word “Australia” is often invoked during the current U.S. interchange debate, and with good reason. With a large economy and a sophisticated payment industry, it illustrates the potential unintended consequences of the price controls proposed by the Durbin Amendment.
Payments industry analysts at reputable firms are rarely in agreement on major issues but in recent weeks many have spoken out in unison – Senator Durbin’s amendment is likely to harm consumers, community banks and credit unions, with larger retailers the primary beneficiaries.
Their arguments, persuasively and dispassionately put forth in a number of reports and blog posts, point to one inevitable conclusion – the amendment, while well-intentioned, will upset a network model that drives considerable benefits to consumers, particularly the financially underserved, as well as smaller financial institutions that are essential to the fabric of American communities.
Led by U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Kenny Marchant (R-TX), a bipartisan group of 131 congressional leaders jointly issued a letter yesterday clearly expressing their “grave concerns” about the Durbin Amendment.
We were heartened to see such a large group of political leaders vocally acknowledge the benefits offered by electronic payment systems (and interchange), including guaranteed payment and fraud prevention, lower labor and processing costs, and increased sales.
The next development in the Durbin Amendment saga will be a hearing tomorrow in Washington, DC to discuss ways to save money for the United States taxpayer.
Well – on this particular point – Visa shares common ground with Senator Durbin: we 100% agree that saving the American taxpayers’ money should be the government’s No.1 priority.
For nearly a decade, Visa has worked with government entities across America to drive greater efficiencies and transparency by migrating check-based government disbursement programs to a clearly better option: prepaid cards.
A recent story by CNN.com’s Etan Horowitz examines the global boom of interactivity expected around the FIFA World Cup™, noting that many expect the global sporting event to drive record social media traffic. After witnessing the levels of engagement on social media channels around the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, we agree wholeheartedly.