Visa Europe Launches Instant Person-to-Person Payments

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Visa Europe is adding multi-currency support and “immediate payments” to its mobile services in Europe.

Its Immediate Payments system allows consumers to receive money sent via the Visa Personal Payments service in a few minutes. Personal Payments allows anyone with a Visa credit, debit or reloadable prepaid card to receive funds from another Visa card by providing either a mobile phone number or Visa card number. Payments are initiated using a smartphone app offered by the sender’s bank.

Visa Europe, which is separate from Visa Inc., plans to add a multi-currency feature this year to allow funds to move across borders, enabling international money transfers via mobile devices.

"Mobile payments have the potential to fundamentally change the way that people pay and are paid. The new Multi-Currency and Immediate Payments features combine the convenience of mobile device use with the ability to send money to 460 million Visa cardholders across Europe, solving a problem that millions of consumers face every day – giving money to another individual easily and securely," said Sandra Alzetta, senior vice president of Visa Europe, in a press release.

The Visa Personal Payments system now has 17 live and committed issuers across Europe. RBS and NatWest were the first in the U.K. to launch the service last month. Their mobile apps were downloaded by 1.7 million consumers in its first two weeks, Visa Europe said in its release.

Visa Europe is owned by European banks, which are reportedly considering requiring Visa Inc. to buy it back.

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