Telefónica Digital and Visa Europe today announce that they have agreed a wide ranging strategic partnership to drive new business opportunities within mobile commerce across Telefónica’s European footprint. The agreement will see both companies co-invest in the development of innovative products and services in areas such as mobile wallet, contactless payments (NFC), acquirer services for mobile point of sale, and merchant offers.
The agreement builds on Telefónica and Visa Europe’s existing relationship in markets such as the UK and Ireland, formalising it at a Europe-wide level and establishing Visa Europe as Telefónica’s preferred partner for the issuance of branded payments cards and the development of related mobile payment services.
Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth.
Mobile commerce is a key focus area of Telefónica’s new Digital unit which was formed to drive business opportunities within the digital space. Within Europe, Telefónica has launched a mobile wallet service to customers in the UK and is working to launch mobile wallets across its other operating businesses.
“Visa has been an important partner for a number of years in Europe, helping us to trial, test and ultimately launch mobile payments products,” said Joaquin Mata, Director of Financial Services at Telefónica Digital. “This market has enormous untapped potential and through this partnership with Visa Europe we aim to unlock significant new business opportunities.”
The relationship with Visa Europe will support the continued development of these services, while also helping to identify and drive new business opportunities in areas such as merchant offers, mobile point of sale, and contactless/NFC payments. It combines Visa’s scale and expertise in payments with Telefónica’s European mobile footprint, strong consumer brands and existing experience in mobile payments. The partnership will also provide Telefónica with access to expertise within the network of Visa’s partner companies.
Mariano Dima, Executive Vice President of Product and Marketing Solutions at Visa Europe, added: “We are delighted to have been appointed as Telefonica’s preferred mobile payments partner in Europe. We’ve worked together for many years to deliver mobile payments and service showcases across some of the most innovative countries in Europe. This partnership will deliver mainstream, commercial mobile payments on an international level.”
Telefónica is committed to striking wide-ranging, open partnerships with a range of companies in order to develop the best possible mobile commerce services. In addition to Visa Europe, it has recently formed partnerships with Sybase and Giesecke and Devrient.