Visa is back with a new ‘Flow Faster’ ad campaign.  And this time, the velocity’s increased.

Gone is the Olympic sprinter, Usain bolt, however.  Now it’s a Spanish grandfather hurrying to meet his newborn grandchild, grabbing his visa card and dashing from his rural Mediterranean idyll on foot to the city.  In an apparent nod to last year’s sporting theme, the old man makes his way against the grain of cyclists and joggers, his journey so quick and easy that he becomes younger as he goes.

Only just launched in 19 European countries, Visa’s new and improved ‘Flow Faster’ technology takes on-the-go payment to the next level.  Through the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which uses radio-frequency identification for security, it is hoped that up to 70 million people will be utilising contactless and mobile contactless methods of payment over the next year.

It is indeed a fast-flowing world we live in – as women, we know this more than most.  And Visa Europe’s new campaign recognises this: when even a grandfather gets caught up in the speed of it all, modern life must be calling for a different means of transaction.

Colin Clarke, senior vice president of brand management at Visa Europe, and the man who oversaw last year’s campaign, states that, “The idea of ‘Flow’ is really just to say that Visa’s role for consumers is to allow them to buy what they want without any hassle and without having to stop what they’re doing”.

Indeed.  This year’s ‘Flow Faster’ ad plays out to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.  An apt piece it is as background to the old man ordering flowers on his Smartphone as he hobbles to the gasolinera to buy a hand-held fan, discarding his walking stick and jauntily making it to town to buy balloons, then jogging for a teddy bear, and finally running in new-bought trainers before hopping on a skateboard (with safety helmet, of course) and whizzing into the hospital, perfectly timed as the flowers arrive.  Visa – whether online, by chip-and-pin, contactless, or mobile contactless – was with him all the way.

Visa Europe (independent from Visa Inc. since 2004) has ‘invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure’ over the past six years.  This latest step in advanced payment technology has come about from research conducted as recent as March this year, finding that ‘5.3 million contactless transactions’ took place in the UK alone.  Interestingly, the ‘Flow Faster’ campaign will be specific to each country, so that the advertisement aired will reflect what is actually available to the viewer, rather than a general marketing of all available services.  In the UK, Marks & Spencer and Starbucks, and the mobile operator Vodafone, have already signed on.

The ad’s endline reads, “Feel Faster, Flow Faster with Visa”, and we could all use a bit of that.  Let’s just hope the grandfather makes it back to his abandoned canary with equal ease.  Like Dorothy’s red slippers, those Visa-bought flashing trainers should definitely help.