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Doing business with Marty Kerr of Visa: Transforming and innovating for the digital economy

Doing business with Marty Kerr of Visa: Transforming and innovating for the digital economy

'We’re open to working with anyone – banks, merchants, developers and consumers – to co-create the commerce experiences of the future. We see that as core to our role.'

Marty Kerr, country manager, Visa New Zealand and South Pacific
Marty Kerr, country manager, Visa New Zealand and South Pacific

Visa is going through a major transformation as we make our capabilities available via APIs in a sandbox environment.


Name: Marty Kerr

Title: Country manager, Visa New Zealand and South Pacific

Twitter handle: @Visa_NZ

How long have you been in your current role?

Seven months. I was appointed country manager of New Zealand and South Pacific in October 2015, and previously led the client relationship team for five years.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

Driving payments from card to mobile and wearables is the next big thing in payments and we’re at the forefront of that development. Our goal is to make Visa as easily accepted in the digital world as it is in the physical world. It’s very clear to me that New Zealanders are keen for innovation; we’re now one of the largest Visa payWave markets – that’s significant and shows Kiwis have appetite for new ways to pay and are early adopters of new technology.

What are your interests away from work?

I enjoy watching and playing cricket, rugby and golf, all of which take a back seat to my job as a family man. I live in Auckland with my wife Anna and three young daughters.

What are you reading at the moment?

For leisure I’m reading A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. I really enjoy books that interweave fiction with historical events and characters. I’m also reading Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It’s very though provoking, primarily around the idea that we can be too reliant on instincts.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

It’s a very bland piece of advice (and to be honest was more of a flippant comment) but a friend once told me ‘never buy a cheap hose’ (incidentally it was advice that was received about five minutes too late). I use it as an example to illustrate that there’s no substitute for quality and if you need a job done do it properly.

There is lots to learn from other markets around the world and that’s critical to all of us in business in New Zealand because we’re a market of early adopters. So I think we all need to be looking and learning and bringing in external perspectives.

Marty Kerr, Visa NZ


Professionally, who do you admire most?

From a global view, I really admire Ryan McInerney who is the president of Visa. He was appointed in this role a couple of years ago when he was just 38. He demonstrates an incredible work focus with clients at the heart of everything we do. Closer to home, I really admire the work of the Icehouse. I’ve been lucky enough to know Andy Hamilton for a number of years and their passion for driving Kiwi businesses and giving them a launch pad to ‘go global’ is very inspiring.

How long have you been working in IT?

I’ve been working in financial services across business development, strategy and client relationship management for about 15 years. I’m passionate about moving New Zealand into a new era in payments through technology and innovation. Visa is also going through a major transformation as we make our capabilities available via APIs in a sandbox environment. That essentially means we’re open to working with anyone – banks, merchants, developers and consumers – to co-create the commerce experiences of the future. We see that as core to our role. And personally, I’m looking forward to the day I can leave my wallet at home.

If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing?

I think I’d still be in financial services for a major corporation. To be honest though, I love Visa. I love the direction we’re heading in as a company and the opportunity to work across the whole market with banks and merchants in New Zealand and also across the world.

Can you share one key pointer for keeping abreast of business and technology trends?

There is lots to learn from other markets around the world and that’s critical to all of us in business in New Zealand because we’re a market of early adopters. So I think we all need to be looking and learning and bringing in external perspectives. You really can’t be innovating for the future and driving change locally without understanding the much broader macro picture which almost all Kiwi organisations are affected by.

How is your organisation leading through technology based disruption, particularly in the finance sector?

Visa is driving the future of payments globally and transforming the way people shop and pay through mobiles and connected devices. In New Zealand, this means working closely with financial institutions and merchants to meet demand from early Kiwi technology adopters.

A recent survey of ours (Visa Asia Pacific eCommerce Monitor Survey, September 2015) shows a 22 per cent increase (region-wide) in shopping via mobile devices compared to the year prior. More than half of New Zealanders (56 per cent) last purchased something using a smartphone, tablet or mobile device – so that’s indicative of our global leadership position to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.

The payments market is ripe for disruption - by both startups and traditional providers: Ovum

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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