Visa Teaming Up With CUs, Banks & CUSOs To Pilot Digital Wallet

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SAN FRANCISCO-Visa is working with a select group of credit unions and banks to launch a digital wallet later this year that will store Visa and non-Visa payments accounts and deliver a broad range of financial transaction capabilities.

The next-generation payments device will support contactless NFC payments through Visa's payWave card and will interact with numerous commerce platforms-including eCommerce, mobile commerce, micropayments, social networks and person-to-person payments.

Visa plans to introduce the new technology in the U.S. and Canada this fall.

Partners in the project include: Card Services for Credit Unions, which provides payments services for more than 3,000 credit unions; PSCU Financial Services, which processes accounts for 1,500 credit unions; and Pentagon FCU, the nation's third largest credit union; as well as PNC Bank, Barclaycard US, BB&T Corp., US Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Regions Bank, TD Bank, First National Bank of Ohio and retailing giant Nordstrom.

Separately, Visa also Visa reported a 24% increase in second quarter earnings, as its debit transactions continued to grow at double digit rates.

The first quarter net of $881 million was fueled by a 19% increase in worldwide debit transactions on Visa cards (13% in the U.S.), and a 17% increase in dollar value of debit transactions (also 13% in the U.S.).

The growth in debit helped Visa charge ahead to a 15% increase in revenues, to $2.2 billion for the quarter, representing an increase in the processing activity for the card giant.

The surge in Visa profits comes as the battle over debit fees merchants pay banks and credit unions to use Visa cards is coming to a head, with banks and credit unions lobbying to delay a Federal Reserve rule that would cap debit fees at lower rates.

Earlier this week both MasterCard and payments processor First Data Corp. reported they have profited substantially from the rapid rise in debit transactions too. The fees merchants pay on debit transactions are shared three ways, with the merchant acquiring bank, the processor, and the card-issuing credit union or bank.

For the first six months of the fiscal year Visa reported a 14% rise in revenues, to $4.5 billion, and a 20% increase in profits, to $1.8 billion.

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