Visa’s new ad campaign is here, promising a faster, more hi-tech service than ever before.

Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi, Traktor and MEC, ‘Flow Faster’ presents one grandfather’s journey from a rural Mediterranean village to the city in order to welcome his grandchild into the world.  Just launched in 19 European countries, with an expected audience of circa 300 million, the grandfather’s journey is so quick and hassle free that he starts to feel (and look) young again.

It couldn’t have been put clearer: “Feel Faster, Flow Faster with Visa”.

Despite recent reservations over the safety of contactless payments, Visa promises that shopping through the use of NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology is perfectly safe and definitely swift, when developed by the right companies.  Indeed, signed up to Visa’s hi-tech scheme are RBS and NatWest, over 2 million of whose customers will receive Visa contactless cards this year (full operations will begin in December 2013).  Mark Austin, Vice President – Contactless for Visa Europe, has stated the hope is for contactless payments to become ‘a high street reality’.

The Spanish grandfather isn’t the first to feature in the ‘Flow Faster’ campaign.  Last year, Usain Bolt was the face of faster payments, Visa taking advantage of the Olympics and London, that global financial market, in order to introduce new technologies facilitating payments for those ‘on the go’.  This year, the target audience is that bit more personal, recognising the need for faster payments even outside the city.

At a time when many families are connected sometimes only by mobile communications, and when more are electing to live outside urban areas, Visa has recognised that that technological link might very well need to extend to those families’ finances.  This year’s ad shows the whole gambit of Visa’s services available to help: online, contactless, and mobile contactless.  After all, for the grandfather making his way determinedly from his rural idyll to the city hospital (Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” playing in the background), the ability to order flowers, buy a hand-held fan, balloons, teddy bear, and even trainers was crucial.  With only a tell-tale ‘beep’, he was on his way again, walking stick discarded.

For those worried Visa’s new technology might literally pass them by, in all senses, the old chip-and-pin method has not been thrown out entirely.  Indeed, there can be no better than a grandfather figure in reassuring Visa’s less technologically-savant customers.  Yet, innovation is key for any business.  As Colin Clarke, senior vice president of brand management at Visa Europe, notes, “the groundwork for consumer understanding of those products” is crucial.  What better illustration than a visual one?

With many of us running around, juggling work and family, simplicity of transactions is a boon.  Steve Rubenstein, Director of Everyday Banking at NatWest and RBS, has said that NFC offers ‘convenience’, makes the average person’s ‘day-to-day shopping experience much easier’.  The company’s slogan may be “Life Flows Better with Visa”, but it seems what Visa actually does is keep pace with our life.