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Cloud-Based Mobile Payments Coming from Visa

[Thursday, March 6th, 2014]

Visa is stepping up its support of businesses offering mobile payments to their customers. Merchants who wish to use mobile payment systems can host Visa-enabled accounts in the cloud — a secure, virtual database.

Cloud-based payments allow customers to pay for purchases using smartphones. A new Android feature, the Host Card Emulation (HCE) essentially turns Android smartphones into smart credit cards. Following the introduction of the HCE feature, Visa announced their support of cloud-based payments via their contactless payment system, the payWave platform.

“The Android HCE feature provides us with a platform to evolve the Visa payWave standard, support the development of secure, cloud-based mobile applications, while at the same time offer greater choice to our clients,” said Elizabeth Buse, Executive Vice President of Global Solutions at Visa.

The International Data Corporation estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2013, 78% of the smartphones sold ran on the Android operating system. Worldwide, Android has over a billion users.


Customers using a smartphone to check out at a store can wave their smartphone at a Near-Field Communications (NFC) reader. Merchants using the Visa payWave system store the payment information in a data cloud that is compatible with payment industry security standards.

The cloud also supports customer loyalty programs, transportation tickets, passes, QR-code scanners, in-app payments and other tools. The HCE for Android allows developers to create NFC applications for all these features and more. The Visa Ready Program supports financial institutions as well as merchants who want to upload Visa accounts to cloud-based systems. Visa Ready provides guidelines for implementation, tools, services and standards for payments and accounts in the cloud.

Payment tokens and security

One of Visa’s tools to protect customers’ account security will be payment tokens that replace 16-digit account numbers. By using a token instead of a full account number, payment methods can be limited to ensure they are not used for unauthorized transactions.

Other security methods include fingerprinting technology and one-time use data that expires after a single transaction.Visa’s software development kit (SDK) will let clients develop mobile banking applications using Visa payWave.

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New Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card VS Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
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