Visa rolls out Tap-to-Phone contactless technology

The new service taps into a growing demand for digital payments

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This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Visa Inc (NYSE: V) this week announced that it is officially rolling out its Tap to Phone contactless payment app in 15 markets, with plans to expand to the U.S. and other markets.

Tap to Phone provides point-of-sale terminals without any additional hardware. Sellers download the Tap to Phone app on their Android smartphones or tablets, and they can start accepting contactless payments from buyers who just tap their Visa cards to the merchants' phone. Transactions are protected through EMV chip-based security.

This follows a successful pilot program that was launched earlier this year with Samsung.

Currently, the technology is available in various countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America, as well as Belarus, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, and South Africa. Upcoming launches are planned in Brazil, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. The plan is to roll it out in the U.S. in 2021.

Fewer than 10% of the 180 million micro and small merchants (MSMs) around the world can accept digital payments. And a survey by Visa showed that 63% of MSMs said they would likely implement Tap to Phone for their own businesses, while approximately 50% of consumers said they would use it if offered. Visa expects this service to close that gap.

Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions at Visa, said: "With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience."

The use of tap-to-pay technology has spike 40% this year due to the pandemic and social distancing, according to Visa. A recent survey by the company found that 48% of consumers said they would not shop at a store that only had payment methods that require contact.

This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

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Dave Kovaleski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Visa. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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