Momentum for Visa Innovations—Issuers, Merchants and Consumers Adopt New Generation of Visa Payment Technologies

Momentum for Visa Innovations—Issuers, Merchants and Consumers Adopt New Generation of Visa Payment Technologies

WaMu, Chase, Wells Fargo, BP to Embrace Innovative payment technologies by Visa; Launch of Consumer Awareness, Marketing Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2007–Visa, the global leader in payments, today announced significant milestones for its innovative, new payment technologies, adding a major issuer and merchant to the list of organizations adopting Visa payment innovations, while preparing to launch an integrated marketing campaign to increase consumer awareness for Visa innovations.

WaMu, the nation’s 6th largest bank card issuer, will begin issuing Visa credit cards with the contactless payment feature to its account holders in a pilot test starting in June 2007. With the addition of WaMu, four of the nation’s top ten Visa issuers have now adopted the technology, and have made contactless payment technology available to consumers in the United States.

BP is joining a growing list of merchants nationwide to upgrade point-of-sale infrastructure and accept Visa products with the contactless feature. Already, consumers can take advantage of the no-swipe technology at 1,100 BP branded sites and BP plans to roll-out this technology to 10,500 of its retail locations nationwide. In total, approximately 31,000 merchant locations in the United States accept contactless payments.

Visa Consumer Awareness Campaign

In an effort to support the momentum for contactless payments worldwide, Visa has developed a global name for its contactless payment feature: Visa payWave. The descriptive name was chosen because it provides consumers with an illustration of the action required to make a contactless payment and best communicates the transaction speed, ease and convenience of using the contactless feature. Visa conducted extensive, global consumer research to determine the best way of describing its contactless feature. According to consumers participating in the research, “payWave” was identified as a good way to describe the contactless feature of a payment device, like a card or mobile device. Visa also utilized marketing intelligence from its Asia Pacific region which had successfully introduced the contactless feature as “Visa Wave” in Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. The Visa payWave feature is available today on Visa credit, debit and prepaid products and is currently being piloted in mobile devices worldwide.

In addition, Visa is planning an integrated marketing campaign to highlight the speed and convenience of the Visa payWave feature, help consumers recognize the universal acceptance symbol for contactless payments at the point of sale, and illustrate the simplicity of making a Visa payWave transaction.

Visa payWave Issuers

Visa issuers have the option to incorporate the VisapayWave feature into their contactless product name and card design but are not required to do so. With the addition of WaMu, ten Visa issuers have begun to issue cards with the Visa payWave feature, including:

  • JP Morgan Chase, the first Visa issuer to broadly launch contactless cards, Visa cards with blink can be used to make contactless payments wherever Visa payWave is accepted. Chase has issued more than 7 million cards with blink to consumers throughout the United States.
  • Wells Fargo, which issues contactless Wells Fargo Visa Platinum Credit Cards and Wells Fargo Visa Signature™ Credit Cards, has plans to re-brand the contactless feature to Visa payWave over the next few months.

“The momentum for contactless payments in the United States has truly been remarkable, moving from regional adoption to national roll-outs in less than two years,” said Brian Triplett, Senior Vice President of Emerging Product Development at VISA USA. “We are excited to expand our marketing efforts in support of Visa payWave, to ensure consumers have a positive payment experience each and every time they visit a contactless merchant location.”

About Visa

Visa USA is a leading payment brand and the nation’s largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system–members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,382 member financial institutions, more than 510 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States.

Visa products currently generate more than $4 trillion in sales volume worldwide. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/Plus is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 170 countries. For more information, visit


Elvira Swanson
Visa USA