The Visa personal payments service allows anyone with an eligible Visa account to pay one another directly without the use of cash and checks

Visa has just made it easier for U.S. consumers to send or receive money from any Visa debit, credit or prepaid account in the world. Visa’s move will also put in competition with PayPal. 

Visa, a global payments technology company that facilitates electronic funds transfers, has already provided personal payments outside of the U.S. through over 70 programs for some time now. Now, the global leader in payments is offering the same convenience for U.S. account holders as well. 

The Visa personal payments service allows anyone with an eligible Visa account to pay one another directly without the use of cash and checks. Participating financial institutions will allow their customers to make a personal payments by entering the recipient's 16-digit Visa account number, mobile phone number or e-mail address. Funds can then be transferred directly from one account to another, and can be done to or from any Visa account in the world. 

The personal payments service was achieved by changes to Visa's global payments processing network, VisaNet, and by creating a new transaction model that allows banks to accept incoming funds. In addition, Visa has entered agreements with CashEdge Inc. and Fiserv Inc., which are two providers of electronic person-to-person payment, bill payment and account transfers to U.S. financial institutions. The agreements will allow both providers to combine Visa's personal payment service with their separate person-to-person systems, which are Popmoney and ZashPay. Customers of both platforms will then be able to send money out to other Visa accounts.  

CashEdge Inc. is also eager to partake in the new agreement with Visa, allowing transactions such as birthday money from a mother to her daughter off in college much easier and faster.

The new Visa personal payments service is expected to become available by U.S. financial institutions through both Fiserv and CashEdge Inc. by the "second half of 2011."

"For 50 years, Visa has worked to simplify payments at the merchant point of sale; we are now evolving our network capability to make it easier for our account holders to pay one another," said Jim McCarthy, global head of products at Visa. "Through our agreements with Fiserv and CashEdge, we can accelerate the delivery of new and innovative Visa payments services, and better enable financial institutions to extend these services to customers."

In addition to the new personal payments service in the U.S., Visa is also making some headway in the mobile payment service realm in Europe by experimenting with NFC technology through the iPhone. Visa conducted a survey in Europe to see how many iPhone users would be willing to place an attachment onto the phone's dock connector for mobile payments, and 87 percent of 4,100 people were interested in the idea. Payment trials are now underway for Visa's new NFC technology for the iPhone.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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