Visa CEO discusses Apple Pay and tokenization rollouts

“We continue to see good success with Apple Pay,” Visa CEO Charlie Scharf has told investors during the company’s first quarter earnings call. “On our tokenization efforts, we are very actively working with issuers in other parts of the world and would expect to see some tokenized solutions in the marketplace this calendar year.”

Visa CEO Charles Scharf
SCHARF: “Few, if any, chip-enabled terminals are shipped that don’t also contain NFC functionality”

“On the topic of other people, whether its handset manufacturers or others, there is a very, very active dialogue that’s going on.

“I think the work that Apple has done and winding up in-market with their solution, it certainly accelerated people’s thinking. We are very excited about what Apple is doing. We think it’s a very elegant solution that we are thrilled with our participation in.

“But, we want to enable as many scalable solutions that have wonderful customer interfaces that adhere to the highest security standard and we would expect to see a series of those in the next couple of quarters come to market.”

“To date, 43 of our issuing partners have enrolled in our tokenization services,” Scharf continued. “These issuers collectively represent 75% of our aggregate US payment volume and over 500 of our clients have signed the Apple Pay contract and we are actively working with them to enable the service.

“As importantly, the token technology employed here sets the standard for other digital experiences and you will see others come to market over the course of the next year. As we gauge the success, I agree with Apple’s assessment that it’s early days but the excitement we see is encouraging. It will take some time to build out the NFC acceptance infrastructure for Apple Pay and others.

“That is happening now and will continue as merchants upgrade their terminals to accept chip-enabled cards. I would also note that few, if any, chip-enabled terminals are shipped that don’t also contain NFC functionality. We continue to work with issuers around the world and expect to see more tokenized solutions as time goes on.”

“We are laser focused on investing to drive cash to electronic payments, partnering with those who will drive commerce in the digital world and creating platforms to embed ourselves in that digital commerce,” Scharf added. “Visa Checkout, Visa Token Services, Visa Digital Solutions and enabling Apple Pay, these are things that we’ve done so far and there is much more to come.

“It will continue to be a very exciting time in the payments arena and I fully believe that Visa will continue to be in a leadership position, not only in terms of growing our payment volumes and processed transactions, but as importantly driving new technologies and ways to pay as we work in concert with our issuers, acquirers, merchants and other parties.”

“In the spring of this year we will have some tokenized solutions in the marketplace for some browser-enabled solutions,” Scharf also revealed.

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3 comments on this article

  1. “We are very excited about what Apple is doing.”

    What is Apple doing that is going to actually increase the business of MasterCard or Visa or Amex? Little that I can see …

    Apple Pay—the greatest media/marketing beat up yet of the 21st century!

    Too bad all that hot air will soon enough cool …

  2. ApplePay is the trojan that in the end will disrupt Visa. When the time is right Apple will also offer iTunes accounts as store of value over for ApplePay. When that happens merchants could be offered an immediate 3-5% reduction in charges from Apple ( no more Visa 3-5% MDR) . It becomes an electronic cash transaction with benefit for Apple and merchants! Visa out in the cold.

    1. You are delusional. Apple Pay rides on the backs of MasterCard and Visa (and Amex); Apple Pay needs them; they don’t need Apple Pay …

      And, how do you think that iTunes works? It works as a credit card merchant via a retail bank, and pays the same MDR to its banker/MasterCard/Visa as any other very large merchant does …

      And, where do you get the 3-5% MDR from; the average MDR for MasterCard/Visa transactions is 1%; the big merchants likely paying ~0.5% …

      Next, you will be telling us how CurrentC is going to disrupt MasterCard/Visa—LOL …

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