Visa launches Developer Center to boost mobile payment apps

Financial services giant Visa is rolling out new resources allowing mobile and web developers to more rapidly build and deploy payment applications. The Visa Developer Center site will enable developers to download SDKs, provision API credentials for account validation, currency conversion, transaction initiation, and anti-money laundering tools, dynamically generate code samples to insert into apps, and create and integrate merchant e-commerce sites, all complete with sandbox testing.

The Developer Center will enable developers to integrate payment options including Visa' new digital wallet and click-to-buy platform, person-to-person transactions and related mobile finance services. According to Visa, developers can leverage its tools to enable both small transactions like in-game digital purchases and larger, higher-dollar buys from big-box retailers and other merchant partners.

Last month, Visa confirmed it plans to launch the Near Field Communications-enabled platform in August or September of 2012, allowing consumers to make real-world and online purchases via smartphone. Steve Perry, commercial director for Visa Europe, announced the rollout schedule during an appearance at the company's October security summit in Hamburg, Germany, and confirmed the system will incorporate rival credit card options. "It will work with not just Visa cards from multiple banks, but other cards like American Express," Perry said. "If the digital wallet isn't as sexy as my current wallet, then it won't take off."

In May, Visa announced it will collaborate with U.S. and international bank partners including US Bancorp, PNC Financial Services, Regions Financial, BB&T Corp, Toronto Dominion's TD Bank and the U.S. arm of Barclays PLC to roll out, which will store customer credit and debit card account information. Visa acquired monetization platform provider PlaySpan in February, a move to accelerate its expansion into the digital and mobile commerce segments--two months later, Visa made an unspecified investment in Square, whose increasingly popular mobile payment solution enables users to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere and anytime via iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.

Visa (along with rivals MasterCard, Discover and American Express) also has confirmed it will join Isis, the nationwide mobile commerce joint venture spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA. According to Isis, the additions significantly expand the payment options available to mobile subscribers, at the same time extending the fledgling network's reach to encompass payment terminals already installed at U.S. merchant locations.

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