Visa's deal with JPMorgan Chase to launch the Chase Merchant Services partnership is likely just the beginning, as the card network says it plans to seek out more relationships with other issuers and acquirers.
"We're not the type of organization that waits for our clients to call us. We talk with clients literally day in and day out. There are conversations that we have been doing with clients of all sizes," said Charlie Scharf, Visa's CEO, during Visa's second-quarter earnings call on May 1. "As I said during the [first quarter earnings] call, we want to more flexible."
Visa and Chase have entered into a 10-year partnership to provide customized processing and a payments platform via Chase Merchant Services. Visa attributed an adjustment in projected client incentive fees to the future impact of the Chase deal, from about 18% of gross revenue to between 16% and 17%.
However, the increase in payments volume from Chase-issued cards and growth in automated payments should make the partnership financially positive, Scharf said. "When we factor in all of the elements of the deal, we expect to have positive revenue growth in relation to Chase," Scharf said.
Visa hopes to work with other companies to tailor similar arrangements, Scharf said.
"I would say the initial reaction to the Chase deal was mixed and confusing, there were not a lot of facts because there were terms disclosed at the letter of intent and not the final contract," Scharf said. "We are now able to have much more in-depth conversations—what does the deal mean on the bank and acquiring side? And [what] can Visa do to help banks and acquirers customize and differentiate their experiences? We're having that conversation with small and big institutions and acquirers alike."
By being more flexible with issuers, Visa also hopes to make adopting mobile and other electronic payments easier—a necessity given the number of alternative payment providers that have entered the market over the past few years.
"The world is changing around us, there are folks that we compete with that have strategies around working with the merchant at the point of sale," Scharf said. "If we don't figure out how to evolve our model we will be leaving a great opportunity on the table."
Scharf also revisited the question of "staged wallet fees," which MasterCard disclosed it would charge to digial wallets. Scharf later said such staged wallet fees are "appropriate," but Visa has insisted it does not have plans to follow MasterCard's example.
"[A fee] is not something that we are contemplating," said Scharf during the earnings call. Visa is forming a policy toward staged wallets, Scharf said, but he did not disclose details.
Visa's net income for the quarter was $1.3 billion, or $1.92 per share, an increase of 17% and 20%, respectively, over the prior year's adjusted results. Net operating revenue in the fiscal second quarter of 2013 was $3.0 billion, an increase of 15% over the prior year, driven by in service revenue, data processing revenue and international transaction revenue. Payments volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, for the three months December 31, 2012, on which fiscal second quarter service revenue is recognized, was 9% over the prior year at $1.1 trillion.