Visa Tap to Phone Transforms Payment Acceptance for Sellers Worldwide

Now Available in More Than 15 Markets, Tap to Phone Enables Businesses to Accept Contactless Payments on Any NFC-enabled Android Device with No Need for Additional Hardware

SINGAPORE, Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the world increasingly turns to digital payments amidst COVID-19, a simple mobile app can help millions of sellers worldwide quickly and securely accept contactless payments, while improving the checkout experience for customers. After piloting Visa Tap to Phone over the past year, Visa today announced product availability in more than 15 markets with plans to expand to the United States and accelerate global product growth in the rest of the world via more than 35 new partners, including  Visa Ready for Tap to Phone partners.

Visa Tap to Phone is a new way to accept digital payments.
Visa Tap to Phone is a new way to accept digital payments.

Tap to Phone transforms current generation Android smartphones or tablets into contactless, or tap to pay, software-based point of sale (softPOS) terminals without additional hardware. As part of Visa’s commitment to digitally-enable 50 million small and micro businesses, this cost-effective tool helps businesses quickly access the digital economy, prevent lost sales and improve cash flow by accepting contactless payments anywhere, anytime. Already, the number of sellers using Tap to Phone has grown by 200% over the past year and is now live in numerous countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Recent launches for Tap to Phone include Belarus, Malaysia, Peru, Russia and South Africa, with upcoming launches planned in Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom and more.

Opportunity for Tap to Phone by the numbers:

  • Two billion Android devices globally could transform to payment acceptance machines[1].
  • Tap to Phone holds particular promise for the 180 million micro and small merchants (MSM) around the world, where fewer than 10% of MSMs in many emerging markets currently accept digital payments[2].
  • In a survey conducted by Visa[3], 63% of MSMs said they would likely implement Tap to Phone in their own businesses and more than 50% of consumers said they would likely use Tap to Phone if offered to them.

“It was just five years ago when Visa set out to enable virtually any IoT or mobile device to make payments and now, we are enabling many of those same devices to accept payments in a very simple way with Visa Tap to Phone,” said Chris Clark, regional president, Asia Pacific, Visa. “The opportunity, especially in a region like Asia Pacific where mobile-first is a way of life, is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could have a profound impact on the shopping experience as more and more businesses go digital.” 

Tapping to pay, or contactless payments, is growing rapidly in the COVID-19 era. Visa has seen tap to pay payments grow by 40% year-over-year[4],  In a recent Visa survey, nearly half of consumers (48%) said they would not shop at a store that offers only payment methods requiring contact with a cashier or shared machine like a card reader[5], making it critical for businesses to expand their acceptance methods beyond cash.

Reinventing In-store Shopping, No Longer Constrained to the POS

According to Visa data[6], casual dining, travel resources and grocery are currently the most typical category of use for softPOS solutions. However, Tap to Phone can elevate consumer experiences in additional ways including:

  • Line busting: With six-foot social distancing mandates in effect, lines can become overwhelming. Tap to Phone helps employees to checkout customers quickly, anywhere around the store. 
  • Transit: In Japan and Belarus, Visa was first to show how Tap to Phone can help eliminate the need for standalone ticket machines and additional validation hardware for conductors.
  • Nomadic and service-based businesses: Make a sale from anywhere and get paid on the spot without having a hardline POS or adding payment accessories.
  • Pay on delivery: Tap to Phone decreases friction when consumers pay for delivery, eliminating the need for cash and limiting touch during the transaction.

Building a Global Partner Network to Accelerate Product Availability

Also announced today, the Visa Ready for Tap to Phone program will help to fast track global product availability and could reduce the functional evaluation for solution providers from almost two months to a few hours. Visa Ready for Tap to Phone now enables technology companies to become Visa Ready certified, giving sellers the peace of mind that the technology solution they choose meets Visa’s high standards for security. Initial participants of Visa Ready for Tap to Phone include Cellfie, Center of Corporate Technologies M4Bank, Digitsecure, GeoPagos, IBA Group, MYPINPAD, PayCore, Phos, Quest, Rubean, SmartPesa, SoftPos, Soft Space and Techno.  

Additional Visa approved technology, acquirer and government partners include Alfa Bank Kazakhstan, Banco Popular, BPS Sberbank Belarus, CIMB. FirstData, FT Technologies, Halyk Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Kazpost, MagicCube. Maybank, Niubiz, Oschadbank, Payments Sense, PostePay, Priorbank, Promerica, Russian Standard Bank, Sberbank Kazakhstan and Symbiotic.

If you are a solution provider or acquirer interested in learning more, please visit the Visa Ready website for more details.

Tap to Phone: How It Works

Sellers download an app, supported by their acquirer, and after registering and selecting their participating bank, the sellers can start accepting contactless payments in just a few minutes. Tap to Phone builds on top of the security of an EMV chip transaction, in which each transaction contains a dynamic cryptogram that cannot be reused. To see more about how Tap to Phone works, a video demonstration is available here.

[1] IHS Markit cited by NFC Forum; December 2019

[2] “Small Merchants, Big Opportunity, The Forgotten Path to Financial Inclusion,” Dalberg

[3] “Understanding The Future of International Tap to Phone Acceptance Study,” Visa

[4] Visa Inc, Q2 2020 Earnings

[5] “Visa Back to Business Study,” August 2020

[6] Data provided by Visa’s Tap to Phone program participants from January 2019 through September 2020.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere.?As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit? About and ?@VisaNews.

Quote Sheet – Hear what our regional and global partners have to say about Visa Tap to Phone:

  • Cellfie (Asia Pacific)
    • “Visa Tap Phone allows small or micro-merchants to get up and running faster to accept contactless payment. With an increasing demand for contactless payment during the global pandemic, Cellfie can help mobile payment acceptance in situations like curbside pickups, deliveries, and payment at patio tables in restaurants.” – Julian Lee, CEO and co-founder, Cellfie
  • DigitSecure (Asia Pacific)
    • “Tap to Phone technology presents never before opportunity to displace PoS hardware with an app-first approach for card acceptance.  Our SoftPoS Platform powering Dunn App for card acceptance is the first in the APAC region to receive the PCI Contactless Payments on Commercially-off-the-Shelf devices (CPOC) certification.” Jay Krishna,  founder of DigitSecure
  • Quest (Asia Pacific)
    • “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Visa for the launch of this transformative technology which will significantly improve the day-to-day operations of businesses of all sizes. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people pay and how many merchants are doing business, and this new solution will facilitate the more seamless, flexible and convenient payments process that people are after,” – Tom Graham, Head of Product Innovation, Quest Payments Systems
  • SmartPesa (Asia Pacific)
    • “As consumers moved from a reliance on cash transactions to secure contactless payments, our Tap to Phone solution with Visa allows acquirers to bring merchants into the digital economy quickly and safely through an affordable and easy onboarding process. We also offer merchants the added capability (and assurance) to accept transactions with PIN where required securely on their smartphones.” – Barry Levett, SmartPesa, Singapore  
  • Soft Space (Asia Pacific)
    • “We believe Tap to Phone has really come into the market at an ideal time as it has helped merchants, especially smaller ones, be able to join the digitalisation train and modernise their payments capabilities. Malaysia’s high contactless cards penetration coupled with Tap to Phone’s ability to directly enter PIN numbers for payment authorisation means users can bank on its convenience, security and safety features, which will further spur contactless usage.” – Joel Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Soft Space Sdn. Bhd
  • PayCore (Europe)
    • PayCore has joined the “Visa Ready” program as the first company from Turkey to be given approval for “Pin on Glass” and managed to obtain both SDK and white-label app approval. PayCore CEO Turgut Güney stated that, “offering SoftPOS as a Visa-approved solution is extremely valuable” and added, “thanks to our SoftPOS solution receiving approval as both an SDK and white-label application, banks can integrate it into their mobile applications as SDK, or as an alternative, by using the white-label application it would be possible to customise the appearance of the application simply by changing the logo and theme.”
  • MagicCube (Global)
    • “MagicCube’s working closely with Visa to scale acceptance points globally, with a sharp focus on a full functionality Tap & PIN product (SoftPOS + PIN) on mobile devices. We see the combination of our differentiating technology and Visa’s global push for next-gen acceptance as a great enabler for merchants, retailers and acquirers to exponentially grow the digitisation of cash and the use of contactless. Our i-Accept product, which can process Tap & PIN transactions on mobile devices and soon to go live with one of the top European fintech disruptors in the UK, can turn any personal mobile device into a safe and secure full payment acceptance terminal and we’re excited to continue our partnership with Visa’s innovative approach to reshape the future of payments.” – Sam Shawki, CEO and co-founder, MagicCube
  • MYPINPAD (Global)
    • “We are pleased for our product to be Visa Ready certified as part of Visa’s Tap to Phone solution that provides a cost-effective and simple way to accept digital payments via everyday devices, such as an Android mobile phone or tablet. MYPINPAD is the only company in the world to have obtained Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC)  accreditation for software PIN entry on Android and iOS devices and the first in the world to achieve PCI certification for its software only Contactless Payments on Commercial off-the-shelf (CPoC) solution. Together with Visa, we enable a truly software-based acceptance solution without limits and puts us one step closer to achieving a ubiquitous solution for secure omnichannel payments.” – Justin Pike, Founder, MYPINPAD


Vince is a tech geek, has a passion for sharing knowledge and loves to tinker with different gadgets. Whenever he gets a new gadget he just open the box and figure out how the gadget works without reading the manual.

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