Visa (NYSE:V) has never been afraid of change. In fact, it often leads the charge into change in understanding that this is how you stay at the front of the movement and eventually entrench (re-entrench) as the leader of the new normal - by leading it at the beginning of the maturation cycle. The most visible change at Visa that I'm following currently is the broader, spatial evolution of the largely card-based payment ecosystem that's digital and biometric. Again, if we weren't discussing Visa I could understand the assumption that a switch so seemingly monumental would be near impossible for such a large entity. But this is in fact Visa we're discussing so we realize it just isn't. Visa has given the market even more evidence of this as of late and it's a reason I think investors should continue to be confident owning Visa equity.
At the recent Team Visa Summit and Innovation Showcase at its San Francisco headquarters Visa gave a preview of what the future will look like. Visa debuted several biometric and wearable payment options that should have the full attention of investors going forward after all this is where the space is going. Remember, leading the spatial shift has been something Visa has played into being the spatial leader, time and time again. What it's working on and what it will be launching in the years to come is meaningful to investment decisions. According to a report by Forbes, which was further reported on by 4Traders, "Visa demonstrated a proof of concept for a NFC chip-embedded wristband that would enable users to make purchases at concessions as well as grant them entry into the venue." I mean, how on-trend and in-touch is Visa? Wearables and payment tech embeddables? That matters.
But this wasn't all. Visa also revealed a biometric verification system in which users would be able to have their fingerprints read with "the wave of their hand." Of course, this would require the users to register their fingerprints as some vaguely described depot - something that might make the public uncomfortable or take some time to grow adoption for. According to Forbes, the fingerprint verification device might also be able to expand on biometric recognition to include "palm, voice, iris or facial authentication capabilities with chip card transactions" as well. Again, more slightly prickly, semi-privacy invading concessions users will have to make for mass adoption but my guess is that users will make them in time. But don't get bogged down in that - that's not point of today's article.
The point is that Visa continues to lead the way with innovation in the payments/payment tech space - which is highly unusual for a company so large that isn't directly in the "tech" space. I find this as fascinating as I do attractive. I can't express to Visa's shareholder base exactly how meaningful 1) having the ability to change is, 2) having the ability to change with speed and with agility is, and 3) having the ability to change with speed and agility and actually being willing to change is. Guys, this is why during a significant market pullback (read: right now) Visa shares have held near 52-week highs. This is the reason that Visa investors shouldn't fear "the future" competitors like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), etc. This is the reason why it might make sense to trade in some common stock for some highly liquid long-dated CALL options. (But hey - the common isn't the worst way to live either.)
Visa (with the concept announcement at the Team Visa Summit) now will have tech/capacity that covers all three payment use cases - four if you count physical card usage. Visa will have its cards already in mass circulation, it will have its new tokenized e-commerce solution that is Visa Checkout, it will have biometric verification solutions via card plus biometric/stand-alone biometric optionality, and it will have its wearable payment tech. So, regardless of it in front of your computer, at a physical location, or without a device (this is an opportunity where wearables come into play) Visa will offer a relevant payment option. That also matters because Visa has become synonymous with ubiquity - something that it must retain to defend its unmatched brand integrity and all that creates for the company.
All told the Team Visa Summit didn't just reveal how Visa plans to stay atop the mountain, it revealed the way tomorrow works. It revealed that Visa, despite growth and despite complexity, remains the same old company that simply executes for shareholders in being one of the better total returner names an investor can own. It also revealed that Visa might be able to do the unthinkable in time - become an even greater global marketshare owner.
Good luck everybody.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.