Visa prepares for a unified front in Europe
Visa Inc. releases quarterly earnings Thursday, and investors will be watching things here and abroad.
Late last year, the company agreed to acquire Visa Europe for more than $20 billion. The deal is expected to be complete later this year. The reunion could mean a lot for Visa as the cashless economy expands.
Visa actually spun off Visa Europe back in 2007 when the company went public. Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub, said in the years since the since the spin-off, Visa hasn’t had “a unified company with a unified platform and culture and priorities," and that had become a problem.
It's also true that Europe holds a lot of promise for credit card companies, said Ben Woolsey is CEO of CreditCardForum.com. He pointed out that cash and checks still account for more than a third of European spending.
“Compare that in the U.S. to roughly 10 percent,” he said. “So there is tremendous opportunity for Visa to make inroads into electronic payments, moving consumers’ preferences toward more efficient payment methods.”
Visa Europe brought in record revenue last fiscal year partly because it introduced so many contactless payment cards — that’s where you tap a card on a reader to pay, rather than swipe or dip.