Visa Inc and NeuStar have announced a strategic alliance designed to accelerate the adoption of mobile financial services globally.
In a statement, the companies say they share a heritage of enabling complex, trusted transactions, and providing the security and global interoperability that has enabled the growth of electronic payments and mobile telecommunications, two industries that now must collaborate in new ways.
The alliance will combine the reliability, scale and security of Visa’s global payment network with NeuSta’s carrier grade infrastructure which provides critical interconnection services to global network operators and their partners enabling seamless delivery of mobile services to consumers worldwide.
‘The Visa-NeuStar alliance provides Visa a single point of connection to mobile network operators around the globe and supports Visa’s global strategy to extend its products and services to the mobile channel,’ says Elizabeth Buse, head of product, Visa Inc. ‘This initiative has the potential to accelerate delivery of mobile financial services in both emerging and developed economies. Those services include mobile payments, wireless top-up of prepaid accounts, money transfer, value-added services such as alerts and offers and mobile acceptance of electronic payments.’
NeuStar serves as a neutral intermediary to facilitate the safe and reliable transfer of data between mobile operators, and other collaborating parties in the delivery of mobile services to consumers. The company adds value by providing a single point of contact for all services, simplifying the task for mobile operators and their partners to connect and offer new services to their subscribers.
NeuStar also operates the GSMA’s PathFinder service, which provides a common global addressing and service discovery mechanism for traditional communication services, and is extensible to emerging services such as mobile money transfer. PathFinder also provides a key enabling foundation for the collaboration between operators and their chosen trading partners, including other operators and financial services providers, such as Visa.
‘NeuStar, Visa and our operator partners represent trusted brands, Visa in payments and NeuStar in network data exchange, and operators in mobile communications,’ comments Steve Edwards, senior VP, converged addressing services, NeuStar. ‘This collaboration enables network operators, financial institutions, Visa, and consumers to move rapidly into the world of mobile payments and take advantage of the exciting opportunities ahead.’
The combination of Visa and NeuStar technology may also make it possible for operators to provide pertinent data regarding handset capabilities. Visa could then detect phone make, model, screen size, browser type, and multimedia capabilities to intelligently tailor the user experience for that handset.
For example, mobile operators will now have the opportunity to combine their data with information provided by a custome’s financial institution in order to create more personalized and relevant offers delivered by Visa’s mobile services to a subscribe’s mobile device. This has the potential to increase subscriber response rates to offers while increasing relevancy of messaging.
The collaboration will also enable the transfer of money to mobile accounts using the Visa network. For example, the Visa network could send funds to a mobile use’s account enabling the recipient to use funds deposited for wireless top-up of prepaid airtime minutes or bill payment for wireless services. The recipient may also access those funds through a Visa prepaid card or withdrawal at a nearby ATM.