SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the world increasingly turns to digital payments amidst COVID-19, a simple mobile app can help millions of sellers worldwide quickly and securely accept contactless payments, while improving the checkout experience for customers. After piloting Visa Tap to Phone over the past year, Visa (NYSE:V) today announced product availability in more than 15 markets with plans to expand to the United States and accelerate global product growth in the rest of the world via more than 35 new partners, including Visa Ready for Tap to Phone partners.
Tap to Phone transforms current generation Android smartphones or tablets into contactless, or tap to pay, software-based point of sale (softPOS) terminals without additional hardware. As part of Visa’s commitment to digitally-enable 50 million small and micro businesses, this cost-effective tool helps businesses quickly access the digital economy, prevent lost sales and improve cash flow by accepting contactless payments anywhere, anytime. Already, the number of sellers using Tap to Phone has grown by 200% over the past year and is now live in numerous countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Recent launches for Tap to Phone include Belarus, Malaysia, Peru, Russia and South Africa, with upcoming launches planned in Brazil, Italy, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and more.
Opportunity for Tap to Phone by the numbers:
- Two billion Android devices globally could transform to payment acceptance machines1.
- Tap to Phone holds particular promise for the 180 million micro and small merchants (MSM) around the world, where fewer than 10% of MSMs in many emerging markets currently accept digital payments2.
- In a survey conducted by Visa3, 63% of MSMs said they would likely implement Tap to Phone in their own businesses and more than 50% of consumers said they would likely use Tap to Phone if offered to them.
“It was just five years ago when Visa set out to enable virtually any IoT or mobile device to make payments and now today, we are enabling many of those same devices to accept payments in a very simple way with Visa Tap to Phone,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions, Visa. “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.”
Tapping to pay, or contactless payments, is growing rapidly in the COVID-19 era. Visa has seen tap to pay payments grow by 40% year-over-year4. In a recent Visa survey, nearly half of consumers (48%) said they would not shop at a store that offers only payment methods requiring contact with a cashier or shared machine like a card reader5, making it critical for businesses to expand their acceptance methods beyond cash.
Reinventing In-store Shopping, No Longer Constrained to the POS
According to Visa data6, casual dining, travel resources and grocery are currently the most typical category of use for softPOS solutions. However, Tap to Phone can elevate consumer experiences in additional ways including:
- Line busting: With six-foot social distancing mandates in effect, lines can become overwhelming. Tap to Phone helps employees to checkout customers quickly, anywhere around the store.
- Transit: In Japan and Belarus, Visa was first to show how Tap to Phone can help eliminate the need for standalone ticket machines and additional validation hardware for conductors.
- Nomadic and service-based businesses: Make a sale from anywhere and get paid on the spot without having a hardline POS or adding payment accessories.
- Pay on delivery: Tap to Phone decreases friction when consumers pay for delivery, eliminating the need for cash and limiting touch during the transaction.
“We always look for ways to improve our customer experience, from personalized service to ease of payment. That’s where Tap to Phone comes in. Customers are always curious and impressed when we process their payment using nothing but our mobile phone. Not only has Tap to Phone been helpful for our in-store sales, but we also use it for our contactless product deliveries, helping customers stay at home and pay with their cards, which makes them gain confidence in our brand,” said Karla Avila, founder of Extenclip in Costa Rica.
Building a Global Partner Network to Accelerate Product Availability
Also announced today, the Visa Ready for Tap to Phone program will help to fast track global product availability and could reduce the functional evaluation for solution providers from almost two months to a few hours. Visa Ready for Tap to Phone now enables technology companies to become Visa Ready certified, giving sellers the peace of mind that the technology solution they choose meets Visa’s high standards for security. Initial participants of Visa Ready for Tap to Phone include Cellfie, Center of Corporate Technologies M4Bank, Digitsecure, GeoPagos, IBA Group, iCARD AD Bulgaria, MYPINPAD, PayCore, Phos, Quest, Rubean, SmartPesa, SoftPos, Soft Space and Techno.
Additional Visa approved technology, acquirer and government partners include Alfa Bank Kazakhstan, BPS Sberbank Belarus, CIMB, First Data, FT Technologies, Halyk Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Kazpost, MagicCube, Maybank, Niubiz, Oschadbank, Paymentsense, PostePay, Priorbank, Promerica, Russian Standard Bank, Sberbank Kazakhstan, Symbiotic and Worldline/SIX Payment Services.
If you are a solution provider or acquirer interested in learning more, please visit the Visa Ready website for more details.
Tap to Phone: How It Works
Sellers download an app, supported by their acquirer, and after registering and selecting their participating bank, the sellers can start accepting contactless payments in just a few minutes. Tap to Phone builds on top of the security of an EMV chip transaction, in which each transaction contains a dynamic cryptogram that cannot be reused. To see more about how Tap to Phone works, a video demonstration is available here.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.
Quote Sheet – Hear what our partners have to say about Visa Tap to Phone:
- “Visa Tap to Phone allows small or micro-merchants to get up and running faster to accept contactless payment. With an increasing demand for contactless payment during the global pandemic, Cellfie can help mobile payment acceptance in situations like curbside pickups, deliveries, and payment at patio tables in restaurants.” – Julian Lee, CEO and co-founder, Cellfie
Center of Corporate Technologies M4bank (CEMEA)
- “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted small businesses by shifting them to remote work that has led to a significant increase of volumes of delivery services. Tap to Phone solution ensures the mobility and cost-efficiency which are crucial for SMEs during the pandemic. We have put lots of efforts to create a fully adaptable and secure solution M4bank.SoftPos to develop to support SMEs and to develop cashless payments in the region. We are thankful to Visa team who supported and consulted us at all stages of the project development.” – Boris Federov, General Manager, Center of Corporate Technologies M4bank
FT Technologies (LAC)
- “We are creating solutions for freelancers, informal workers, small and medium-sized businesses, in order that they can innovate in the way you pay.” – Carlos Reyes, CEO, FT Technologies
- “Using the Tap to Phone solution, merchants can accept Visa credit and debit contactless cards without requiring any additional hardware. We trust that this technology will help expand card payments acceptance in a region where cash still dominates, such as LATAM, resulting in greater financial inclusion. We’re thrilled to be a part of this innovation and helping our partners (acquirers and payment facilitators) bring this technology to their merchants.” – Julian Lisenberg, COO and Cofounder, GeoPagos
IBA Group (CEMEA)
- “It is amazing! A POS terminal has turned into an Android application and merchants have a near unlimited choice of Android devices that they can use. The Visa Ready- certified PIN for Tap to Phone technology breaks all transaction limits and provides a better contactless payment experience to customers. No special hardware, knowledge or skills are required to turn a regular smartphone into a POS. It means minimized time and budget for rolling out payment acceptance and easy business scaling. I am sure that Tap to Phone is a new stage of payments evolution that is now happening.” – Vadim Smotryaev, Product Owner, IBA Group
- “MagicCube’s working closely with Visa to scale acceptance points globally, with a sharp focus on a full functionality Tap & PIN product (SoftPOS + PIN) on mobile devices. We see the combination of our differentiating technology and Visa’s global push for next-gen acceptance as a great enabler for merchants, retailers and acquirers to exponentially grow the digitization of cash and the use of contactless. Our i-Accept product, which can process Tap & PIN transactions on mobile devices and soon to go live with one of the top European fintech disruptors in the UK, can turn any personal mobile device into a safe and secure full payment acceptance terminal and we’re excited to continue our partnership with Visa’s innovative approach to reshape the future of payments.” – Sam Shawki, CEO and co-founder, MagicCube
- “We are pleased for our product to be Visa Ready certified as part of Visa’s Tap to Phone solution that provides a cost-effective and simple way to accept digital payments via everyday devices, such as an Android mobile phone or tablet. MYPINPAD is the only company in the world to have obtained Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC) accreditation for software PIN entry on Android and iOS devices and the first in the world to achieve PCI certification for its software only Contactless Payments on Commercial off-the-shelf (CPoC) solution. Together with Visa, we enable a truly software-based acceptance solution without limits and puts us one step closer to achieving a ubiquitous solution for secure omnichannel payments.” – Justin Pike, Founder, MYPINPAD
- “At Niubiz we always seek to offer our clients the latest technology and the highest security standards on their payments. Thanks to the hard work developed with Visa, we have been able to transform the way of doing business throughout Peru, on this opportunity with Tap-to-Phone technology, making Peruvian entrepreneurs the first in the Andean region to count with this payment solution. We are transforming their businesses to make their lives easier.” – Diego Conroy, Niubiz CEO
- “Offering SoftPOS as a Visa-approved solution is extremely valuable. Our SoftPOS solution offers businesses the opportunity to convert their Android devices into contactless POS terminals especially in this pandemic period, wherever consumers prefer contactless payments. Being first in Turkey, PayCore received approval from Visa for its SoftPOS-with-PIN product, which lets financial institutions offer their merchants to accept PIN on their devices for high value transactions. We are pleased to provide the technology for this unique solution, which will be considered a pioneer in Turkey’s card-acceptance platform, and will expand the SMEs’ contactless payment acceptance infrastructure.” – Turgut Guney, CEO, PayCore
- “Our partnership with Visa is equipping financially underserved businesses with the power of Tap to Phone payment technology to grow sales and unlock the full spending potential of their customer base. With best-in-class digital payment security, our proven next-gen POS technology also gives consumers peace of mind when making payments to their favorite vendors - offering greater flexibility, convenience and more ways to pay. We’re confident that businesses participating in the Visa Ready program will reap the benefits of significantly increased returns as we head into the busy Black Friday and festive shopping period for retailers and, with the support of the Visa team, expect to see acceptance of this new, simple-to-use payment method accelerate among the business community.” – Mike Barnes, Head of Acquiring & Banks, Phos
- “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Visa for the launch of this transformative technology which will significantly improve the day-to-day operations of businesses of all sizes. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people pay and how many merchants are doing business, and this new solution will facilitate the more seamless, flexible and convenient payments process that people are after,” – Tom Graham, Head of Product Innovation, Quest Payments Systems
- “We recognize the global potential of mobile apps that accept contactless card payments and have focused the company Rubean AG on the delivery of PCI CPoC solutions. Our pilot approved, patented solution PhonePOS makes a difference in the level of security and connectivity to the acquirer backend. I want to thank Visa for their early security guidance that have saved us a lot of time.” – Dr. Hermann Geupel, CEO of Rubean AG
- “As consumers moved from a reliance on cash transactions to secure contactless payments, our Tap to Phone solution with Visa allows acquirers to bring merchants into the digital economy quickly and safely through an affordable and easy onboarding process. We also offer merchants the added capability (and assurance) to accept transactions with PIN where required securely on their smartphones.” – Barry Levett, SmartPesa, Singapore
- “SoftPos enables cash-only merchants to finally accept electronic payments. It promotes financial inclusion and limits the grey economy. SoftPos can easily be used as a stand-alone app or payment functionality integrated with 3rd party apps. No hardware is required apart from a commercial Android device with NFC and Internet access. We see strong and growing interest in the solution, which is already serving multiple companies and small businesses across Poland. In the last few months we have equipped different merchants including taxis, restaurants, couriers and small local stores with SoftPos and their response is really promising. We look forward to expanding globally and count on VISA to support our efforts.” – Biser Jorgow, VP & CO-founder, SoftPos.eu
Soft Space (APAC)
- “We believe Tap to Phone has really come into the market at an ideal time as it has helped merchants, especially smaller ones, be able to join the digitalization train and modernize their payments capabilities. Malaysia’s high contactless cards penetration coupled with Tap to Phone’s ability to directly enter PIN numbers for payment authorization means users can bank on its convenience, security and safety features, which will further spur contactless usage.” – Joel Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Soft Space Sdn. Bhd
- “With Visa’s invaluable support, we have developed a payment solution we are very proud of. We’re enabling small businesses survive by giving them the tools to handle contactless payments and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. With Tap to Phone, any vendor at the farmer’s market can accept credit or debit card payments using just a phone with a few minutes of setup. It brings the digital economy to everyone.” – Javier Chacon, CEO, Symbiotic
- “Our primary goal is to provide retailers with modern means and technologies of contactless payments acceptance. Thanks to Visa, TECHNO can offer SoftPOS technology to the market, thus providing a solution that is much more convenient and profitable for both acquirers and points of sale, offering ease of implementation, zero logistics efforts, simple maintenance, extreme mobility and ease of use by merchants. SoftPOS ecosystem is fully online and is maintained with zero physical contact, which means this technology can tolerate any lockdowns and closed borders. We expect that Techno SoftPOS solution will help the entire industry to increase profitability and to boost popularity of contactless payments acceptance technologies among all organizations that provide their goods and services.” – Alexey Nazarov, Deputy Director General, TECHNO
1 IHS Markit cited by NFC Forum; December 2019
2 “Small Merchants, Big Opportunity, The Forgotten Path to Financial Inclusion,” Dalberg
3 “Understanding The Future of International Tap to Phone Acceptance Study,” Visa
4 Visa Inc, Q2 2020 Earnings
5 “Visa Back to Business Study,” August 2020
6 Data provided by Visa’s Tap to Phone program participants from January 2019 through September 2020.