Visa is arming itself for the future: In the last year, it made three major acquisitions to boost its digital-payment capabilities.
It acquired Fundamo, a provider of mobile financial services for mobile network operators and financial institutions; PlaySpan, a provider of payment platforms for digital goods in online games, digital media and social networks; and CyberSource, which expands Visa's online payment, fraud and security management capabilities.
“We have a strong innovation agenda,” said Antonio Lucio, global CMO-strategy and corporate development officer at Visa Inc. Going forward, he said, the company's mission is to drive transactions, brand equity and engagement. “We measure those three parameters consistently.”
Visa has also deepened its focus in overseas markets, such as Brazil, Russia, Africa and the Middle East, employing its ongoing “More People Go With Visa” campaign. The campaigns are “100% developed locally to make sure we connect with local markets,” Lucio said. “But they are all aligned in terms of strategy, look, feel, spirit and global positioning.”
Its “Go World” campaign will also be making its third Olympics appearance at the 2012 games in London, but this year's effort, Lucio said, will have an emphasis on social media. OMD Worldwide handles Visa's media; several agencies work on digital and creative, including TBWA Worldwide, AKQA and Proximity Worldwide.
The recently relaunched Visa Business Network also gained traction, garnering 140,000 members and 250,000 visitors each year. The campaign “Go Biz,” aimed at small businesses, is currently running on the website.
Lucio said the goal is to switch small-business behavior from using checks to using credit or debit cards. For instance, a recent “webumentary” on the site shows entrepreneur Kim Ima driving her treats truck around New York, talking about how she manages her cash flow using her Visa Business credit and debit cards. The site is a place where customers can learn about Visa's new products, Lucio said, but more than that, “they also get relevant information for them to manage their businesses. It's social; it's inherently important for them to share.” —P.R.