SOURCE: Welcome

October 01, 2007 08:00 ET

Visa and Welcome Real-Time Sign Deal to Offer Exclusive Marketing Platform for Visa payWave in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE--(Marketwire - October 1, 2007) - Visa International and Welcome Real-time have signed an exclusive two-year partnership that will make it possible for merchants to deliver targeted promotions to Visa payWave cardholders in Asia Pacific, along with and at the same time as the contactless payment transaction occurs.

Visa payWave is a form of contactless payment that removes the need to physically swipe or insert a smart card into a payment terminal. As at July 2007, there were more than 3.2 million Visa contactless cards on issue across four markets(i) in Asia Pacific -- Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan.

Rahul Khosla, executive vice president, Products Group, Visa International said the partnership with Welcome Real-time provides a unique marketing opportunity for Visa payWave contactless payment since it enables retailers to reward customers based on both amount and frequency of spending.

"This new platform complements traditional points-based rewards programs that many Visa payWave cardholders already enjoy. It gives retailers the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition.

"A unique feature of the program is its ability to process promotional programs without adding to the time taken for processing the total payment transaction thus preserving the speed, security and convenience promises to Visa payWave cardholders," Khosla said.

Under the partnership, Visa will have the exclusive right to use Welcome Real-time's promotional marketing platform for all Visa payWave transactions conducted in the Asia Pacific region(ii). This includes contactless card-based and mobile payment forms.

Sebastien Guillaud, CEO of Welcome Real-time said there were several distinct benefits the alliance would bring to retailers including the ability to deliver cost effective promotions, the seamless integration of the service into the current contactless payment function and limited infrastructure costs for retailers already accepting Visa payWave.

"At the core of this offering is the ability for retailers to use actual consumer behavior to develop targeted promotional marketing campaigns. Globally, retailers spend tens of billions of dollars each year on promotional tactics such as direct mail, premiums and incentives, retail in-store promotions, couponing, loyalty marketing, games and sampling," Guillaud said.

"Retailers will be able to use data stored inside Visa payWave payment card to deliver targeted messages at the point of sale. For example, a coffee chain can recognize an infrequent customer that has not been to the chain in over 30 days, and instantly print an offer at the bottom of the card receipt, encouraging the customer to return soon. It can be difficult and expensive for merchants to achieve a similar result using existing data mining and direct marketing techniques, whereas with Visa payWave, the feature is built into the payment transaction and the offer is simply printed at the bottom of the receipt," Guillaud said.

It is expected the first implementation of the Welcome Real-time marketing platform will occur early next year.

About Visa payWave

The Visa payWave card builds on the existing global EMV smart card standard that is currently being adopted by card issuers and acquirers around the world and in Asia Pacific. Payments are made via Radio Frequency (RF), much like the 'tap and go' cards that many commuters are already familiar with. There is an antenna -- a thin copper wire inside the Visa payWave card -- that transfers payment information quickly and securely through the RF signal to a reader connected to the merchant's point-of-sale terminal.

By simply holding a Visa payWave card at a close range of 4 cm from the reader, the card will be detected and the transaction made. Visa payWave is a fast, simple and secure way for consumers to make payment. Visa payWave merchants are able to accept payments in as little as four to six seconds, including the printing of the receipt. This compares favorably with cash payments, which typically take between twelve and fourteen seconds, from handover to handback. No signature or PIN is required and there is no need to even hand the card to the cashier -- consumers simply wave, pay and go.

About Welcome Real-time

Welcome Real-time (www.welcome-rt.com) is the leader in card marketing enhancements that create added value at the moment of payment. Welcome Real-time adds value to the traditional payment transaction through an enhanced payment experience that provides benefits to cardholders, retailers and financial institutions. Welcome's technology drives credit and debit card programs in 21 countries across the globe and has received industry awards such as the "ROI of the Year Award" by The Banker magazine (2004) and the "Frost & Sullivan Industry Innovation & Advancement Leadership Award" (2006). Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices and R&D facilities in Singapore, London, Milan, Madrid, Miami, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.

About Visa

Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds.

Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth.

Visa products currently generate more than $4.8 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 www.corporate.visa.com.

(i) According to Member reporting and therefore may be subject to change.

(ii) The promotional marketing platform is available in South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Guam, Brunei, Maldives, Nepal, Fiji, Vanuatu, Bhutan and Nauru.

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