Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly live from the CNBC Evolve Summit on Tuesday, November 10th.
Mandatory credit: CNBC Evolve Summit.
CARL QUINTANILLA: It’s great to be with everybody today. Thanks, of course, for coming to Evolve. You know, the payments business is one of those industries right now in this uncertain year that people are looking to judge about the recovery of global growth, recovery of the consumer, and it’s on that note that we are very pleased to welcome Al Kelly today, the Chairman and CEO of Visa. Al, it is great to see you. Thanks for the time.
ALFRED KELLY: Carl, good to be with you. I’m not going to be doing any singing, but I look forward to talking with you.
CARL QUINTANILLA: I want to talk about the business, obviously, internally and externally. But let’s just begin with what this incredible week has brought us, and that’s positive news on the vaccine, a growing sense that maybe the world is changing this week. And if that’s true, we’re going to be looking for areas in which payments would recovery the quickest. I wonder if you could just set us up on your take of the news this weekend and how you’re going to be looking for changes from within.
ALFRED KELLY: Well, look, I think, Carl, the reality is that uncertainty is never a good thing in most businesses, ours included. And the fact that it looks like there’s a resolution to the presidential race, that there’s some hope on the vaccine front, I think have people excited and hopeful. And I think after seven and a half or eight months of people being locked down or having their lives disrupted, people are anxious to get out and be able to do things. Obviously, right now we still have to be very careful and follow all the guidelines that medical experts are asking us to follow. The virus has been very interesting for payments. On one hand, it’s suppressing cash usage as people are worried about germs being spread via currency and so more people, even for small ticket items where they might have used cash in the past, are looking to use a debit card or a credit card. E-commerce has exploded as people are now sitting home and working on their tablets or their computers or their mobile devices and wanting to continue to be able to shop. And we’ve seen an incredible increase in the number of people who, for the first time, are shopping in an e-commerce situation. We’re seeing governments become more interested in digital payments, and that’s a good thing. Governments distribute a lot of funds. We work with the U.S. government and about 15 others on the distribution of everything from unemployment funds to emergency funds to stimulus funds. And obviously the one negative in this has been the impact on travel, Carl. The reality is that you really almost can’t travel right now. It’s very inconvenient, if you can. There are so many restrictions that I really think of travel as being, for all intents and purposes, not a real option for consumers or business people. But I think the hope of a vaccine can change that. I think that the world is an exciting place, and people still want to get out there and travel and knock things off their bucket list, etc. So I’m very hopeful that at some point we will get back traveling and people will be able to enjoy seeing the world, and that will be good for payments, as well.
CARL QUINTANILLA: Yeah. What do you think the bull case is on pent-up demand for leisure, but really more importantly on corporate travel? What argument can be made that we get back to corporate travel habits that we were used to before this pandemic began?