Visa (NYSE:V) has announced several vendor alliances—including iZettle, SumUp and Swiff for mPOS generally—as it tries to generate some interest for its Visa Ready program. At the same time, Visa has approved some mPOS devices from two other vendors—AnywhereCommerce and Miura Systems—so that they can accept Visa mobile payments.
"The Visa Ready Program is designed to provide innovators with an easy way to collaborate with Visa and gives merchants and consumers the peace of mind they need when transacting with a mobile phone," said Jim McCarthy, global head of innovation & strategic partnerships, Visa Inc. "Mobile acceptance technology is precisely the kind of innovation we need to bring the benefits of electronic payments to more merchants, financial institutions and consumers around the globe."
That is certainly a fair—if not overly informational—utterance. The bigger issue is not so much getting vendors to join, but giving shoppers a reason to pay with a mobile device. Yes, the payment infrastructure needs to be in place first, but we'd feel a lot more sanguine about the chance of this program going anywhere meaningful if we saw somebody—Visa, retailers, some of these vendors—putting in place some hardcore shopper incentives to get consumers to start using mobile for payment.
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