Visa aims to partner with Silicon Valley mobile payments innovators

Visa’s head of mobile, Bill Gajda, recruited from the GSM Association earlier this year, is spending much of his time convincing Silicon Valley companies they should partner with the payments processing giant rather than try to go it alone with new mobile payments technologies, a Forbes profile explains.

“I hear all the time that we’re dinosaurs,” Gajda tells Forbes, “and that we should just make room for the new guys.” But, Gajda explains, Visa’s decades of experience in managing payments systems is a crucial ingredient in next generation payments:

Visa is also selling its bona fides as a partner to insurgents rather than try to compete directly. As Gajda makes the Silicon Valley startup circuit, he emphasizes the size of the Visa network and its decades of experience fighting fraud, the scourge of electronic-payment systems everywhere. “This is a train you want to be on board,” he says.

His best argument: the sheer complexity involved in moving money from a buyer to a seller electronically. It might be easy to build an iPhone app that lets you enter in the phone number of a co-worker you want to pay back for lunch, a common promise in the new mobile-payments world. But then someone has to do the intricate behind-the-scenes data processing that makes sure the card isn’t stolen, the people involved aren’t scammers, the payer’s account has the necessary funds and the actual money transfer happens quickly and without a glitch.

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions