Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Jun 17, 2013


Enabling the Future of Payments Through VisaNet

Technology continues to transform payments and it is changing the way consumers all over the world shop, pay and get paid. The advent of the Internet, mobile phones and social networks has started an unprecedented expansion of the payments ecosystem and ignited a series of innovations. From eCommerce and cross-border remittances, to mobile wallets and acceptance devices, consumers never before had so many options on how and where to transact.

As the consumer shopping experience evolves, so does the backbone technology that enables transactions from all over the world to be authorized in less than a second and settled to the penny every time. VisaNet, our global payments network, is an integral part of this backbone. It connects more than two billion debit, credit and prepaid accounts to nearly 15,000 financial institutions and 36 million merchant locations in more than 200 countries around the world. In its data centers, more than 82 billion transactions in 175 currencies are processed yearly, representing US$6.5 trillion in total volume.   

For more than 50 years Visa’s network has played a key role in reducing cash spend across the globe. When we started as a pilot in Fresno, California, in 1957, we could not imagine that electronic payments would turn into one of the best success stories of the 20th century. Today, it is hard to imagine a world without them. From a cup of coffee to a refrigerator, we pay for nearly everything with payment cards. They stimulate economic growth, reduce inefficiencies and benefit consumers, businesses and governments around the globe.

To stay one step ahead of the global adoption of electronic payments, we’ve continuously expanded and enhanced VisaNet. We have built and acquired secure payment gateways, such as Cybersource and Fundamo that enable merchants, financial institutions and mobile network operators to more easily connect to Visa and offer consumers innovative new ways to pay. From mobile offers and transaction alerts delivered via SMS text message, to mobile payments on the go and at physical retailers, the pace of innovation in the payments industry is exciting. However, we have an obligation to innovate responsibly, and ensure that the core attributes of security, reliability and trust in Visa payments applies to new forms of payments. Our goal is simple: Continue to be the best way to pay, for everyone, everywhere.


Posted by: Matt Quinlan, Chief Technology Officer, Visa Inc. on June 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Mar 5, 2013

A Look Inside the Visa Network Center Powering the Global Economy

The next time you’re in a restaurant and pay using your Visa card, think about this scenario. In a fraction of the time it takes the server to take your order, your transaction will travel instantly over VisaNet to Visa’s network operation center located somewhere on the east coast of the United States.

VisaNet is the largest electronics payment network in the world, spanning the globe and supporting electronic payments in countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. The network is in charge of core processing services like authorization, clearing and settlement and can process a single transaction anywhere in the world in just 1.4 seconds. VisaNet is capable of processing more than 24,000 transactions per second and features some of the most advanced risk and fraud detection systems in the payments industry.

To better understand how VisaNet works and how Visa protects each transaction, two Australian journalists were granted access to the network operation center. These two journalists got a behind-the-scenes look at the home of VisaNet, giving them a glimpse of what goes into reliably and securely processing 11,000 transactions per second.

For your own chance to go inside and take a closer look at Visa’s state-of-the-art facility, we invite you to watch this segment from Australia’s Current Affair.


Posted by: Erika White, Visa Corporate Relations on March 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

Nov 16, 2011

Visa Marks Two More Milestones in Delivering the Next Generation of Payments

Six months ago, we announced our global innovation strategy to deliver the next generation of payments.  Today, we’re introducing two important building blocks in that effort: opening Visa to developers via the Visa Developer Center – including the introduction of the by Visa digital wallet brand and global acceptance mark – and the new Visa Mobile Prepaid product designed specifically for consumers in developing countries. These milestones reinforce Visa’s ongoing efforts to give consumers more places and ways to pay and be paid, as well as provide financially excluded consumers with secure and reliable financial services.

Embracing the Developer Community

With the Visa Developer Center, we’re standing behind our belief that some of the most innovative ideas for the future of payments will come from leading-edge software developers. We’re arming the developer community with the tools to build person-to-person payment capabilities, domestic and international remittances, and other applications by providing access to Visa tools, API’s, documentation, and code.  Visa is also improving access to the separate developer resources of CyberSource, Authorize.Net, PlaySpan, and the new digital wallet.  We’re excited about the future innovations 3rd party developers may conceive through the Visa platform, and look forward to payment applications not yet imagined today.

Our First Joint Visa and Fundamo Product

After acquiring Fundamo just over five months ago, Visa is introducing its first jointly developed product: the Visa Mobile Prepaid product.  The new product, a Visa prepaid account that can be accessed through a simple menu on a mobile phone, enables consumers in developing countries to send and receive funds, make purchases online or at merchants where Visa is accepted, and withdraw money at ATMs.  It brings Visa’s high standards for security, reliability and interoperability to consumers who have lacked access to formal financial services. The product is the result of a new mobile money platform that connects financial institutions and mobile network operators with VisaNet.

Stay tuned for additional progress in the weeks and months ahead.


Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on November 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Oct 3, 2011

Currency of Progress Expands to Brazil

When Currency of Progress launched in the United States in 2009, we told the story of a Brazilian father – and passionate soccer fan – who could finally take his son to a match thanks to the safety and speed of ticketless entry at the stadium, powered by Visa digital currency. 

Today, Visa is launching a Currency of Progress website just for Brazil, providing Visa with a robust platform for communicating the benefits of digital currency to key local influencers. Brazil is the latest of six priority countries where we’re activating local sites, including India, Japan, Mexico, and Russia, with China planned for the end of the calendar year. We’ve also redesigned the Currency of Progress global website and developed supporting materials that tell the breadth of Visa’s story – from our impact on economies to the unique value of our global network, VisaNet.

We believe that when influential stakeholders see these stories – spanning the globe from India to Brazil to the United States – they will develop a deeper understanding of the important and positive effects Visa has on individuals, businesses and governments.

As stakeholders visit the site and learn more about Visa’s Currency of Progress, they will be able to understand the ways Visa is:

  • Supporting business by showing how Visa technology and payment products help merchants manage their cash flow, improve their bottom line and grow their business.  
  • Empowering people by giving individuals fast, convenient, reliable and secure access to their money, empowering them with the tools they need to live their lives.
  • Growing economies by facilitating the shift to electronic payments from cash and checks thereby delivering tangible benefits to economies.
  • Partnering with government to improve efficiencies and empower their citizens — from the distribution of benefits in digital currency to the procurement of vital goods and services electronically.  

Check out the latest stories at


Posted by: Ruben Osta, Country Manager, Brazil on October 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Jun 9, 2011


Last month, Visa announced  its strategy to provide the next generation of payments solutions for any stage economy.  At the time, we shared our plans for a sophisticated digital wallet that will first be available in the U.S. and Canada.  And today, we’re announcing two investments that help us accelerate the strategy reaching other consumers around the world.

Today, Visa announced  the acquisition of Fundamo and a new agreement with Monitise.  Both companies play important roles in extending electronic payments and services via mobile devices. Taken together, they accelerate Visa’s ability to bring financial services to banked and unbanked consumers worldwide.  This means that consumers – across the full spectrum of uses, geographies and mobile environments – can access basic financial services on a simple handset or more advanced services on a smart phone.

Fundamo brings a platform for Visa to deliver mobile financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers in developing markets.  Fundamo is already delivering services like person-to-person payments, airtime popup, and bill payment in more than 40 countries – with Visa, these services can integrate with VisaNet, adding interoperability and utility with the potential to connect billions of people to each other and to the global economy.

And through our extended relationship with Monitise, we will expand delivery of mobile financial services to Visa banked account holders — enabling electronic payments on the go for those who are more likely to transact on a mobile device than in person.

These are two ways we are enabling consumers around the world to transact wherever, whenever they choose and in ways that meet their lifestyles – whether using a card, a computer, or a mobile device.
We know that different parts of the world have different needs.  We know that delivering access to financial services on a mobile device is critical, as well as complicated.  And, at Visa, we’re only willing to do it in a way that replicates the security, reliability and convenience synonymous with using a Visa card at a retail store.

To see this vision in action, please check out this video .


Posted by: Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Product on June 9, 2011 at 3:32 am

May 11, 2011

Visa Advances Next-Gen Payments Solutions

We have worked tirelessly to accelerate the global shift to electronic payments by integrating VisaNet with services gained through key partners and our acquisitions of CyberSource, and PlaySpan.

Today, as the New York Times reported, we reached a milestone. We announced a cross-channel digital wallet and a range of customized mobile-payment services that address the specific requirements of geographic markets around the world. Both offerings will replicate the ease, reliability and security of Visa point-of-sale payments within traditional and digital eCommerce, mobile commerce and burgeoning social networking commerce environments.

We are working with leading financial institutions and merchants to launch the digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011. It stores Visa and non-Visa payment accounts, supports NFC payments via our PayWave application and delivers various transaction services to accommodate multiple commerce scenarios. We expect key features of the wallet to include:

  • Click-to-buy: Shop conveniently and securely by simply entering an email address, alias or online ID and password, instead of a billing address, account number and expiration date. In addition, Visa is exploring dynamic authentication technologies that will bring added layers of security to online purchases.
  • Preference management: A menu that allows consumers to set preferences for how their wallet will work, allowing them to customize and control the features of their personal wallet from privacy settings to designating which account will be accessed based on merchant type or purchase amount.
  • Merchant offers: A service that allows consumers to personalize their shopping experience by opting-in to receive money-saving discounts or promotions from the participating merchants.
  • Cross-channel payments solution: The wallet consolidates multiple Visa and non-Visa payment accounts and can be used in mobile, eCommerce, social network and retail point-of-sale environments.


Posted by: Jim McCarthy, Head of Global Product, Visa Inc. on May 11, 2011 at 5:04 am

Jan 12, 2011

Visa Transactions Hit Peak on Dec. 23

While most people are out celebrating the holidays, come Thanksgiving you’ll find my team hunkered down in front of a bank of computer screens 24/7.  No, they’re not online doing their holiday shopping but rather monitoring Visa’s authorization system.  That’s because the holiday season is when VisaNet, our global transaction processing network, faces its greatest demands as millions of people head to the mall or their favorite online retailers, relying on Visa to handle their payments.


Posted by: Manny Trillo, Head of Global Transaction Services on January 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Oct 25, 2010

IBM Recognizes Visa’s Cutting Edge Technology and Innovation

IBM recently announced that Visa has won IBM’s annual Information on Demand 2010 Innovation Award. The award is given in recognition of Visa’s leadership in using cutting-edge information technology and real-time data analytics. This mastery of data lets Visa offer an incredible array of products and services that improve the consumer payment experience and drive growth for our clients.


Posted by: Mike Dreyer, Global Head of Technology on October 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Oct 25, 2010

Visa Opens World’s Leading Payments Network to Independent Developers

Visa has spent decades investing in the creation of one of the most robust, secure and reliable electronic payments networks in the world: VisaNet. Until now, however, the ability to connect to the network has been limited. We recognize that innovative ideas come from many people and places, and that independent developers have transformed many other industries.

This is why we’re excited to announce today that Visa is accelerating innovation in electronic payments by opening its leading payments network to independent developers with a significant enhancement to the Authorize.Net Developer Center.


Posted by: Paul Wilke, Visa Corporate Relations on October 25, 2010 at 7:31 am