Visa USA has advanced its mobile strategy with the launch of a new pilot at its California headquarters. Following the successful completion of the industry's first large-scale US mobile payment trial at Philips Arena in Atlanta earlier this year, Visa is now testing the delivery of mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to consumers' mobile devices.

The pilot, which will involve approximately 500 Visa employees in California, is expected to expand to public trials over the next year. Pilot participants will receive payment coupons and rewards that can be redeemed at on-site cafes located at Visa’s corporate campus.

With more than 225 million mobile phone users in the US alone, it’s only natural for consumer payments to extend to the mobile device, said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president at Visa USA.

A recent online survey conducted by Visa found that 61% of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 are interested in making mobile phone purchases. Additionally, the survey revealed that more than half of US consumers carry their mobile phones at least 75% of the time. The survey also showed that 64% of consumers are interested in receiving coupons via their mobile device.

Visa’s vision for mobile payment includes the secure, over-the-air delivery of payment account information to the mobile device, access to point-of-sale mobile payments using Visa Contactless and near field communications (NFC) technology, as well as remote payments delivered through secure mobile messaging and the mobile internet.

Visa expects to conduct larger-scale trials over the next 12 to 18 months to test both mobile payment and value-added applications.