Visa announced on Wednesday it will offer clients new cloud-based options to deploy mobile payments programs as part of an effort to expand its support for mobile payments around the world.
For the first time, clients will have an option to host Visa payWave-enabled accounts in a virtual cloud. The company’s support for cloud-based payments comes after the introduction of a new host card emulation feature for Android OS, which allows any NFC application on an Android device to emulate a smart card, allowing users to wave-to-pay with their phones.
“Our clients and partners around the globe are continuously looking for flexible, cost efficient and secure ways to enable mobile payments,” Elizabeth Buse, the executive vice president of global solutions at Visa, said. “The Android HCE feature provides us with a platform to evolve the Visa payWave standard, support the development of secure, cloud-based mobile applications, while at the same time offer greater choice to our clients.”
Visa said data released earlier this month by International Data Corp. showed 78 percent of smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2013 run on the Android OS, and the operating system has also grown in popularity in China and Latin America.
“The Android community continues to build innovative ways to improve the lives of mobile users,” Benjamin Poiesz, the Google Android product manager, said. “We introduced HCE to make it easier for developers to create NFC applications like mobile payments, loyalty programs, transit passes, and other custom services. Visa’s move to enable NFC payments with Android devices is welcome news and will guide the way for the payments industry.”
Visa clients in the U.S., Australia and Canada applauded the move to allow cloud-based mobile payments.
“Customers have migrated to their smartphone and we are at the doorstep of consumers migrating to mobile commerce in greater mass,” Dominic Venturo, the chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank’s Payment Services division, said. “This new development, combined with the security benefits of tokenization, is an important step for the industry because it enables an open, scalable approach for issuers like U.S. Bank to provide customers with a secure way to make contactless payment using their Android-based phones.”