Visa, Mastercard beef up mobile payment tech at Mobile World Congress

BARCELONA — Mobile payments made in different parts of the globe were an important theme at Mobile World Congress this week, with leaders Visa and Mastercard announcing new services.

Visa on Monday announced one of the most unusual approaches, one that relies primarily on older QR code technology through its mVisa payment service. It went live Monday for merchants and customers in India, Kenya and Rwanda and will soon be available in Egypt, Pakistan and a few other developing countries.

The service allows merchants and consumers to make payments via a mobile phone and a QR code kept at each merchant’s store location. Visa said the flexible nature of QR codes means that merchants do not need to invest in costly point-of-sale infrastructure.

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