Yahoo!, Visa expand payment deal globally

A deal between Visa and Yahoo! will make the credit card the default payment option around the world for products and services bought through the portal

Visa will be the default credit card for e-commerce shoppers paying with plastic on many international Yahoo sites.

Under an agreement finalised on Tuesday between Visa International and the Internet portal, Visa will become the default payment option for international versions of Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Travel and Yahoo! Wallet. Yahoo! will also offer Visa when it has promotions that include credit cards or debit cards.

The international deal is similar to one made last year between Yahoo! and Visa USA. The new agreement will link Yahoo! and Visa in Asia, Canada, Latin America, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As part of the agreement, Visa will develop and execute cobranded marketing campaigns for Yahoo!, including TV ads and newspaper ads, outdoor posters and airport signs. Visa International will also feature special deals available only on Yahoo! at the promotions portion of its site and in Visa's "World's Best Offers Program" catalogue.

The deal promotes a trend that Yahoo! marketing executives are calling "u-commerce," or universal commerce -- products and services that consumers worldwide can purchase at any time and from any electronic device such as a laptop, cell phone or handheld computer.

"By further expanding our global relationships, Yahoo! continues to build the Internet's leading consumer and business services company by delivering programs, content and services that meet the needs of our broad audience," said Jasmine Kim, vice president of international marketing at Yahoo!.

It is unclear whether the deal will give Yahoo! an immediate e-commerce boost. Although Visa cards generate more than £1.25tn in annual volume and are accepted at more than 22 million locations around the world, e-commerce experts say many international Web users are loathe to purchase goods online, largely because credit cards have not penetrated their cultures as they have in the US.

"They don't use credit cards like we do in the United States," said Steve Adams, chief executive of Uniscape, a software maker that has helped 140 companies build and operate Web sites for foreign customers.

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