Visa Mobile Gets Boost from Deals

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Visa Inc. hopes to accelerate the global adoption of mobile financial services through an alliance with a clearing house that serves the communications industry.

The San Francisco payments company announced Tuesday that its deal with NeuStar Inc. of Sterling, Va., would make it easier for mobile operators and their partners to offer new financial services to subscribers.

"NeuStar brings a network effect by being the hub for the operators," said Prakash Hariramani, a senior business leader on Visa's mobile initiatives team. "We can essentially ride the rails of the interoperability that they have built to our community."

NeuStar serves 4,000 telecom network operators worldwide, Hariramani said. Among other things, it administers the North American telephone numbering system.

That technology could be the framework to offer new services, such as mobile money transfer, Hariramani said. For instance, a customer could transmit funds over the Visa network to another user, with the recipient storing the value not in a Visa account but in a mobile telecom account.

Separately, Visa announced the commercial introduction in Peru of Visa Mobile Pay in conjunction with Visanet Peru and Telefonica.

The service, which Visa called the first commercial mobile payment service in Latin America, is available to Visa account holders with credit or debit cards issued by Banco de Credito del Peru, the nation's oldest bank, the government-owned Interbank, the BBVA Banco Continental unit of the multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and the Scotiabank Peru unit of Bank of Nova Scotia.

Initially, Visa account holders will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for cab fares and send flowers, as well as to top up their wireless prepaid accounts. Other merchant segments are scheduled to be added, such as deliveries of pharmaceutical products and catalogue orders.

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