Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visa Unveils Merchant Incentives to Speed Shift to Mobile-Payment Systems

Visa Inc. (V) unveiled plans to encourage U.S. retailers to shift to checkout systems that let consumers pay using their mobile phones, as the biggest payment network aims to jump ahead of rivals and curb credit-card fraud.

The company said it will let merchants that switch to credit-card readers supporting so-called EMV technology forego costly annual security certifications. Starting in 2015, it will also stop requiring banks to reimburse most merchants for some types of credit-card fraud, which can be prevented by using EMV systems, Visa said in a statement yesterday.

Visa wants to boost sales of new terminals and accelerate the move to transactions made via cell phones with near field communication chips, an emerging standard in mobile technology. When tapped on the new readers, enabled mobile phones can function like credit and debit cards. Research firm Crone Consulting LLC estimates that only about 200,000 of 6 million store terminals now accept such contactless payments.

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