Visa Europe goes for social network m-payments


Partners with fastacash to integrate with leading social media networks


Mobile World Congress: Visa Europe has partnered with Singapore-based fastacash, provider of a global platform that allows users to transfer value such as money and airtime along with digital content through social networks and messaging platforms, to enable a new social networking payment feature for member banks to extend to their customers. This new social feature makes it easy for users of Visa Direct, formerly known as Visa Personal Payments, to send peer-to-peer payments via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and LinkedIn.

The partnership will enhance Visa Direct’s peer-to-peer domestic and international money transfer service helping to bridge the gap between consumers wanting to use social media to transfer money, and banks and payment service providers.

By combining fastacash’s technology with Visa Direct, banks will be able to offer money transfers to any Visa card with end users being able to make these transfers across their preferred social network or messaging platform. Visa Europe has partnered with fastacash to offer a highly secure, patent-pending ‘fastalink’ technology that enables the transfer of money via social networks and messaging applications.

In order to send peer-to-peer payments using Visa Direct, consumers use the mobile app or other user interface provided by their bank, entering the amount of money they wish to send and then the channel via which to send it, either direct to a mobile number or, in future with fastacash, via a social channel. All that is required is for the sender to choose the channel, then the contact they wish to send money to, who will then be notified of the payment.

Sue Onians, head of mobile money for Visa Direct at Visa Europe, commented: “We are still at the proof of concept stage in this but it will help a lot with issues of trust that people feel about sending money. Consumers are now used to using social networks for everything and I think they’ll want to use a channel they are comfortable with to send money, as well as everything else they do in their social lives.”

Onians added that initially this service might be used for social financial interactions, which is where it may be seen to be the most relevant in the short term. She added that the service will branch from there into the business world where it will be of particular interest for small and medium sized companies.

Chairman and CEO of fastacash, Vince Tallent, commented: “Together with Visa Europe, we are driving the next generation of social peer-to-peer payments. Working with Visa Europe and its member banks, we will be able to bring social money transfers to over 500 million people across Europe. We see this partnership with Visa Europe as the next step in bringing banks and end users closer in the often complicated process of money transfers.”

Visa Europe has also announced that Visa Direct is expanding its offering into most countries where Visa has a presence, creating a global peer-to-peer payments service.

With Visa Direct, Visa Europe Member banks can offer their card holders the ability to transfer money quickly, securely and easily to nearly two billion Visa card holders across the world using just a mobile number or a Visa card number. Available this summer, the expanded Visa Direct service from Visa Europe will be available in 20 languages and will now also support multiple currencies to make it faster and easier than ever for people to send money to friends and family using just their mobile phone number.

Across Europe, the existing Visa Personal Payments service has more than 200,000 users that have transferred money for a total of €43 million sent since launch in March 2013.  Irish bank, Permanent tsb, has a version of the service that was named the winner of ‘Best Initiative in Mobile Payments’ at the UK and Ireland Card and Payments Awards earlier this month.


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