Visa Beefs up Multinational Program

Says enhanced offering provides better financial control for global enterprises, governments

San Francisco  April 26, 2002  Visa International unveiled a beefed-up set of procurement and travel solutions for multinational organizations at its recent global conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Visa said the latest iteration of its Multinational Program enables streamlined management of travel and procurement expenses across borders for enterprises  including governments  with offices in multiple countries.

Among the new capabilities is the ability to enhance, consolidate and deliver global data to headquarters locations and local managers. Visa's data enhancement services can include reporting of travel routing and purchase tax detail that offer financial officers the ability to manage enterprise finances.

The payment card company said that since its solutions integrate into major enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, they offer an effective way to improve financial management, which Visa said is becoming ever more critical for enterprises both public and private these days.

"From the boardroom to the halls of government, we are seeing a singular strategic priority for all organizations: cut costs and become more efficient." said Visa International CEO Malcolm Williamson. "For businesses, efficiency drives profitability. For governments, efficiency drives better services without budget growth."

Visa asserted that its payment solutions are up to 70 percent more efficient than traditional paper-based procurement, with better control and oversight than cash and checks when Visa's recommended best practices are put into place.

The card company also used last week's Barcelona conference  which drew about 160 procurement and travel officials, Visa staff and commercial banking experts from 32 countries  to announce that the government of Chile and Banco de Chile will launch the first Visa purchasing card program in that country in a bid to streamline government procurement processes and enable operational cost reductions. Initially, the program will be developed with the Procurement State Management Agency (DAE), which is responsible for negotiating standard contracts with numerous suppliers that can be used by other government agencies nationwide.

Visa said that governments in 19 countries already use some form of Visa card program, with nearly 1,000 governmental bodies throughout the world using Visa Commercial Solutions.