For those of us that have been working in the payment industry for some time, VISA was always seen as the protector of the status quo. Even new initiatives that were sometimes brought to market took a long time to deploy or were not applicable. (Remember SET?). VISA was an extension of the institutionalise banks, and (the perception were), that banks used the card associations to protect their interests, rather than help their customers. The fact that both Mastercard and VISA were controlled by the same banks meant that competition did not always pan out the way that one would have liked it to be.This is why it is so good to see a new VISA that emerged after the listing. The approach is now much more open and driven by an honest effort to find solutions that customers would want. Nowhere is this more clear than in the mobile payment industry. The people and decisions that we are experiencing as an industry shows a new style of collaboration and openness to new ideas. A search of the news channels will show many initiatives that supports this view (Read here, here and here). One of the exciting initiatives is the mDirect initiative recently launched by Mobile Money in South Africa. In this instance the go to market strategy was based on joint branding between MTN (a mobile operator) and VISA. This would have been unheard of ten years ago.Could it be that a change in ownership and governance structures can have such a dramatic change in behaviour? It does seem to be the case.