Visa wants to make payments easier, or at least easier to understand. The payment giant announced the launch of a new partner program that it said is intended "to accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally and further drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments."

The Visa Ready Partner Program gives providers of devices, software and payment solutions that accept Visa transactions a framework to ensure they are compatible with Visa's standards. It also provides those providers with best practices when working with Visa's massive payment network.

"The pace of innovation in the payments industry requires a new approach that ensures innovative payment methods can be tested, approved and commercialized quickly," said Jim McCarthy, global head of product, Visa Inc. "While it is critical that we ensure new payment methods are secure and reliable, it is equally important to allow great ideas to become new ways to pay and be paid."

Visa said that for financial institutions and merchants, its new partner program will make it easier for them to adopt new payment methods that are approved. Solutions and devices that are approved by Visa will sport a new symbol that says they are "Visa Ready."

One goal of the program is to tame the ever-more competitive mobile point of sale market. Visa said its Visa Ready Partner Program will help define mPOS requirements and best practices, provide developers with applications and tools to enable the development of mobile acceptance solutions, open up payment gateways through open APIs and SDKs, and guide partners and providers through the approval process by supply documentation and resources.

Visa is also looking to address the compliance testing process for mobile NFC devices and secure chips that host the Visa payWave application, the company said. The Visa Ready Partner Program will include establishing of guidelines for technical, security and usability testing; ensuring Visa transactions from NFC mobile devices are compliant with the global standard; and establishing a required signal range for mobile NFC-enabled devices hosting the Visa payWave application.

Read more about card brands.

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