2004 May Issue
Cover Story
The future of payment in Asia-Pacific
Other Stories
POP culture - From visual displays to visual identity
The future of payment in Asia-Pacific
Refreshing discoveries off the beaten asiles at IHA 2004
Going organic in Malaysia

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Cover Story Page 1 of 3
The future of payment in

A new wave of technological innovations is paving the way for u-commerce, or universal commerce. The simple plastic card with the magnetic stripe of the 1970s has given way to the smart card … to realise the vision of a new payment product that enhances security while maintaining a common standard. As Visa is in the forefront with its EMV migration and now contactless smart card, RETAIL ASIA has asked Visa Asia Pacific to share its vision of the future of payment in the retail industry.

From the simple plastic card that revolutionised payment in the 1960s to today’s smart cards and wireless payments, Visa International has been changing the way shoppers pay. As buyers and sellers become increasingly mobile and connected, Visa is rapidly evolving its point-of-sale (POS) to point-of-service, and enabling new ways to conduct commerce securely, conveniently and simply.

Visa’s vision of universal commerce, or ucommerce, is a world where buyers and sellers can use Visa to pay for anything, anywhere, at any time using any device. Ucommerce offers consumers and businesses new levels of choice, convenience and empowerment,as well as unparalleled opportunities and efficiency for merchants.

Philip Yen, executive vice-president and general manager, Products Group, Visa Asia Pacific, said: “There are enormous opportunities in the u-commerce environment for financial institutions, buyers and sellers. At Visa, we are constantly working on new payment products
— from chip cards to mobile phones at the point-of-sale — that will allow people to conduct business more efficiently. We play an instrumental role in realising the u-commerce vision by addressing four fundamental factors of payments: Developing common standards; enhancing security; maintaining a robust and reliable processing system; and making payments simple.”

The Visa Smart future

Source: Visa Internation
  Chip-based cards and the huge potential they offer form a central part to Visa’s vision of universal commerce. Smart cards are in fact gaining momentum in the Asia-Pacific, as evidenced by more than 20 million Visa-branded EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) smart cards issued regionally. EMV is the worldwide standard for chipbased payments that provides enhanced security and global interoperability.

Smart cards provide banks and merchants with the opportunity to enhance their card usage and to combine multiple applications including payment, transit, healthcare, identity, loyalty and Internet access onto a single chip. Merchants can also strengthen relationships with their customers through loyalty programmes, or encourage repeat business with custom-tailored offers. Consumers everywhere are ready to embrace the power of chip on a payment card to enhance their lifestyle.

With the growth in e-commerce and mobile commerce (m-commerce), Visa’s smart cards meet the evolving needs of consumers for greater convenience, control and highly personalised services.

Visa’s goal is to migrate the majority of payment cards and terminals to the EMV chip standard in the Asia-Pacific by end 2008 (see chart). EMV chip technology delivers two advantages over any existing infrastructure: It enables more secure transactions in more environments and opens up a world of opportunities for financial institutions, merchants and consumers.

Driven by technology advances, decreasing chip technology costs and the capability to reduce fraud, there has already been significant development in the banking industry to migrate from the magnetic stripe to a chip-based infrastructure.

Globally, the momentum of chip migration is self-sustaining. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, have successfully introduced EMV Visa smart cards.

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