Visa Europe announces Global expansion of peer-to-peer payments capabilities

Visa Europe has announced that Visa Direct, formerly Visa Personal Payments, is expanding its offering into most countries where Visa has a presence, creating a global peer-to-peer payments service.

With Visa Direct, Visa Europe Member banks can offer their card holders the ability to transfer money quickly, securely and easily to nearly 2 billion Visa card holders across the world using just a mobile number or a Visa card number.

Available this summer, the expanded Visa Direct service from Visa Europe will be available in 20 languages and will now also support multiple currencies to make it faster and easier than ever for people to send money to friends and family using just their mobile phone number.

Across Europe, the existing Visa Personal Payments service, to be renamed Visa Direct, has more than 200,000 users that have transferred money for a total of €43 million sent since launch in March 2013. Permanent tsb’s version of the service was named the winner of “Best Initiative in Mobile Payments” at the UK and Ireland Card and Payments Awards earlier this month.

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As part of the launch of its global peer-to-peer payments offering, the Visa Europe API management platform is now available to Member banks making integration of the Visa Direct service into existing online/mobile applications even easier.

Launch of partnership with fastacash makes it easy to send money to friends via social networks

Visa Europe has partnered with Singapore-based fastacash to enable a new feature for member banks to extend to their customers. This new social feature makes it easy for Visa Direct users to send peer-to-peer payments via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and LinkedIn.

The partnership will enhance Visa Direct’s peer-to-peer domestic and international money transfer service helping to bridge the gap between consumers wanting to use social media to transfer money, and banks and payment service providers.

By combining fastacash’s technology with Visa Direct, banks will be able to offer money transfers to any Visa card with end-users being able to make these transfers across their preferred social network or messaging platform. Visa Europe has partnered with fastacash to offer a highly secure, patent pending “fastalink” technology that enables the transfer of money via social networks and messaging applications.

Sue Onians, Visa Europe commented:

“Consumers are demanding payment services that integrate with their mobile lifestyle and their favourite social network. Our world is getting smaller and quicker in terms of interaction and payments should keep up. Consumers want to be able to transfer money easily and securely across geographic borders without limitations, to their friends and family. Visa Direct from Visa Europe enables this while our partnership with fastacash will make this even easier through social networks.”

Chairman and CEO of fastacash, Vince Tallent, commented:

”Together with Visa Europe, we are driving the next generation of social peer-to-peer payments. Working with Visa Europe and its member banks, we will be able to bring social money transfers to over 500 million people across Europe. We see this partnership with Visa Europe as the next step in bringing banks and end-users closer in the often complicated process of money transfers.”

In order to send peer-to-peer payments using Visa Direct, consumers use the mobile app or other user interface provided by their bank, entering the amount of money they wish to send and then the channel via which to send it, either direct to a mobile number or, in future with fastacash, via a social channel. All that is required is for the sender to choose the channel, then the contact they wish to send money to, who will then be notified of the payment.

Visa Europe will be displaying demo versions of the Visa Direct solutions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from March 2-5, both sending to a mobile number and via social channels. In addition, Visa Europe members who are live with the Visa Personal Payments mobile payments service, to be renamed Visa Direct, will be showing their live solutions. Sue Onians of Visa Europe and Vince Tallent of fastacash will be present at the Visa booth on Tuesday, 3 March, from 3-3:30 to meet with the press and answer questions. The Visa booth is in Hall 6, booth #6D40.