Visa Broadens Yahoo Agreement

Web portal Yahoo! is again the main platform for an online marketing push by credit card and payment services giant Visa International, which this week renewed its promotional agreement with the Santa Clara, Calif.-based portal.

The new effort, which continues a deal inked last year, will concentrate on promoting the ease and benefits of making online purchases to a worldwide audience, Yahoo! said. Work emerging out of last year’s agreement focused on security issues and U.S. audiences.

“In working together with Visa, we are helping to increase consumer confidence in making online purchases and provide a more convenient experience for shoppers around the world,” said Yahoo! vice president for international marketing Jasmine Kim.

Under the revised partnership, San Francisco-based Visa will be promoted as the default payment option on international versions of Yahoo!’s Shopping and Travel areas, and in global versions of its Yahoo! Wallet information retainer.

The agreement applies to ten Yahoo! sites in Asia and Oceania (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand), North America (Canada and Mexico), and South America (Argentina and Brazil). Yahoo! en español is included in the agreement as well.

Yahoo! will also make Visa the preferred brand in every region where it offers a co-branded credit or debit card. In addition, the Yahoo! properties will host a page of co-branded content.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Visa said it would integrate Yahoo! into offline marketing and advertising. The companies didn’t disclose specifics, but that could entail broadcast and cable spots, regional print ads, statement inserts, and outdoor and out-of-home signage.

Yahoo! will also receive space on to showcase special offers in Visa’s Offers & Promotions section. E-commerce specials also will be featured in Visa’s four regional sites and “World’s Best Offers Program” catalog.

“Visa’s strategic global relationship with Yahoo! helps enhance customer and merchant benefits on all sides,” said Tom Shepard, who is executive vice president for global marketing partnerships at Visa.

Visa’s no stranger to Web marketing efforts, but this agreement represents a relatively new push for the company — a focus on extending its online marketing abroad, following several years of focusing on domestic audiences. In November, Visa retained Alley-based specifically to roll out its international sites.

Like this arrangement, much of Visa’s online work comes through partnerships with major Web portals. For instance, during the winter holiday season, the company teamed with America Online and Universal Pictures for an online promotion.

In concentrating on positioning itself on portals, the company is taking a point-of-sale approach to the Web: banking that a high profile in the places where huge number of e-commerce transactions occur will encourage consumers to use it as their payment method.

“By working with leading Internet players such as Yahoo!, Visa continues to be a major player in Internet-based payments,” Shepard said.

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