Visa launches new corporate responsibility program

CIOL Bureau
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NEW YORK, USA: Visa Inc. launched its first corporate responsibility program at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) mid-year meeting, where Visa was recognized as the first CGI "commitment to action" of 2008.


The program, Visa’s first as a public company, has two areas of emphasis:

Humanitarian Aid: Visa is committed to working with leading humanitarian aid organizations that have the expertise and ability to help individuals in vulnerable communities around the world, including in cases involving disaster relief efforts.

Long-Term Poverty Alleviation: At the core of Visa’s CSR commitment is a focus on combating poverty by fostering greater economic self-sufficiency among low-income individuals and communities. Visa is combining its payments expertise, historic commitment to financial literacy and focused philanthropic efforts to bring more people into the formal banking system and support entrepreneurship and small business development.


Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and CEO, Visa, said: "Visa and its employees have a deeply rooted concern for the well-being and advancement of all human beings. Although global poverty is a massive issue that Visa cannot conquer alone, we believe that by focusing our philanthropy and expertise in electronic payments toward expanding opportunity to those in need, we can make a meaningful contribution to tackling this global challenge."

The corporate responsibility program launched by Visa is in the early stages of development. Visa is looking forward to building on this foundation and working closely with its partners to make meaningful progress on its commitment to combating poverty.

Areas Visa intends to focus on as it further develops its corporate responsibility efforts include:


* Support for microfinance programs to help unleash entrepreneurial talents that are critical to economic development in poorer countries;

* Developing new technologies and payments infrastructure, such as mobile payments, to help expand access to financial services; and

* Financial literacy programs that help people better manage their finances, as well as understand their financial responsibilities.

An integral part of this commitment is Visa’s new partnership with Oxfam America, an international humanitarian relief and development organization that is a highly-respected leader in advancing humanitarian aid, economic development, and poverty alleviation. Visa is making an initial three-year funding commitment to support Oxfam’s work on both humanitarian aid and targeted programs devoted to combating poverty.

In addition to working with Oxfam to address issues globally, Visa also remains focused on helping smaller non-profit groups in developing countries as well as those in the United States.