Visa joined with the Center for Financial Inclusion and Citi to launch a new global campaign — Financial Inclusion 2020 — with the goal of achieving a world with full access to quality financial services for all by the year 2020. By uniting leading companies, NGOs and policymakers, Financial Inclusion 2020 will build a roadmap to reaching universal financial inclusion. Achieving full financial inclusion will not only improve the lives of billions of people, it will drive economic growth, accelerate women’s empowerment and remove a major obstacle in the fight against global poverty.
Read more about Visa’s support of Financial Inclusion 2020 in an op-ed piece in Business Insider by Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Product at Visa and Pamela Flaherty, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi and President and CEO of the Citi Foundation here.
Today is Data Privacy Day, an annual event observed internationally to promote privacy awareness and education. While the day is an important reminder, creating and maintaining a data privacy culture is a year-round job — an important one as companies explore the explosion of data availability and the opportunities and responsibilities that come with it.
There’s no question that Visa — like most companies — is striving to evaluate how the age of “big data” will shape our business and how information can deliver greater value to cardholders, merchants, and clients. But in this changing technology landscape, one guiding value remains constant at Visa: the importance of maintaining trust. So no matter what 2013 brings, we resolve that payment innovations at Visa won’t come at the expense of our long-held commitments to security and privacy that have made us a trusted name in payments for over 50 years.
Hear more about Visa’s approach to responsible innovation:
On Wednesday morning at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Visa and Citi co-sponsored a roundtable event with the Better Than Cash Alliance. The discussion on the global shift by governments, the development community and the private sector from cash to electronic payments was opened by Visa Group President of the Americas, Bill Sheedy.
Over 50 dignitaries and thought leaders attended the panel discussion moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Economics Editor from The Economist. The panel included Juan Jiménez Mayor, Prime Minister, Republic of Peru, Dr. Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance, Republic of Colombia and Florencio B. Abad, Secretary of Budget and Management, Republic of the Philippines.
The panelists discussed the benefits their countries are experiencing through the shift to electronic payments including transparency, cost savings, economic growth and increased financial inclusion.
Organizations including the World Food Programme, Mercy Corps, and UNCDF described the challenges and opportunities in making this transition and highlighted the importance of greater collaboration between the public sector, private industry and the development community.
Read more about the event from Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance here.
The benefits of switching to a cashless operation have long been touted as an evolutionary asset of the restaurant industry. In such a competitive market, new technology must be researched, developed and introduced on an ongoing basis. This is especially true in New York City – a city known by many as a forefront of innovation and business, cultural, and educational opportunity. But could 2013 be the year that restaurants go cashless? Some trends are pointing to yes.
As the United States Treasury slows its printing presses and plastic becomes the preferred method of payment for consumers and businesses alike, industry experts predict more establishments will say goodbye to dollars and cents. There is simply no ignoring the convenience and security afforded by going cashless. Furthermore, if predictions are correct, 2013 will be a big year for mobile payment solutions among small and medium size businesses.
The popular New York City eatery Commerce is just one restaurant going cashless. In September 2009, it announced that it would no longer be accepting cash in September 2009—and now the owners are scouting for locations in New York to expand the business to a cashless fast-food restaurant chain. “It’s because so little of our business is done in cash,” explained owner Tony Zazula, restaurant business veteran of over 20 years. “It’s the age of electronic transfers. There’s no reason to have two systems.”
As Zazula and his business partner Harold Moore are planning their new quick-casual eating venture, they remain steadfast in their card-only policy. Zazula explains, “It makes complete sense.”
Visa and Commerce have joined forces to produce the following mini-documentary about the restaurant and the new NYC spot opening soon. Hear directly from Zazula and Moore about why this initiative has been so successful, and how, as Zazula puts it, “going cashless allows [Commerce] to be true to [its] heart.”
For many of us, the New Year is filled with excitement and anticipation, but for the new neighborhood coffee shop opening downtown, or the Etsy artisan working on a fresh line of handmade jewelry, the New Year can also be a time of uncertainty.