Visa Inc. (Visa) operates as a global payments technology company. The company facilitates global commerce and money movement across more than 200 countries and territories. Visa operates one of the world’s largest electronic payments network — VisaNet — which provides transaction processing services (primarily authorization, clearing and settlement). The company offers products, solutions and services that facilitate secure, reliable and efficient money movement for participants in the ecosystem.
The company has a global set of consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities through innovative technologies. As a trusted engine of commerce and with new ways to pay, the company is working to provide payment solutions for everyone, everywhere. The company focuses on extending, enhancing and investing in its proprietary network, VisaNet, to offer a single connection point for facilitating payment transactions to multiple endpoints through various form factors. Through its network, the company offers products, solutions and services that facilitate secure, reliable and efficient money movement for participants in the ecosystem.
The company facilitates secure, reliable and efficient money movement among consumers, issuing and acquiring financial institutions, and merchants. The company has traditionally referred to this as the four-party model. As the payments ecosystem continues to evolve, the company has broadened this model to include digital banks, digital wallets and a range of financial technology companies (fintechs), governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The company provides transaction processing services (primarily authorization, clearing and settlement) to its financial institution and merchant clients through VisaNet, its advanced transaction processing network. During fiscal year 2022, the company saw 258 billion payments and cash transactions with Visa’s brand, equating to an average of 707 million transactions per day. Of the 258 billion total transactions, 193 billion were processed by Visa.
The company offers a wide range of Visa-branded payment products that its clients, including nearly 15,000 financial institutions, use to develop and offer core business solutions, including credit, debit, prepaid and cash access programs for individual, business and government account holders.
The company takes an open partnership approach and seeks to provide value by enabling access to its global network, including offering its technology capabilities through application programming interfaces (APIs). The company partners with both traditional and emerging players to innovate and expand the payments ecosystem, allowing them to leverage the resources of its platform to scale and grow their businesses more quickly and effectively.
The company is accelerating the migration to digital payments and continue to evolve to be a network of networks to enable the movement of money through all available networks. The company aims to provide a single connection point so that Visa clients can enable money movement for businesses, governments and consumers, regardless of which network is used to start or complete the transaction. This ultimately helps to unify a complex payments ecosystem. Visa’s network of networks approach creates opportunities by facilitating person-to-person (P2P), business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), business-to-small business (B2b) and government-to-consumer (G2C) payments, in addition to consumer to business (C2B) payments.
The company provides value added services to its clients, including issuing solutions, acceptance solutions, risk and identity solutions, open banking and advisory services. The company invests in and promote its brand to the benefit of its clients and partners through advertising, promotional and sponsorship initiatives with FIFA (FIFA World Cup 2022), the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the National Football League (NFL), among others. The company also uses these sponsorship assets to showcase its payment innovations.
The company’s strategy is to accelerate its revenue growth in consumer payments, new flows and value added services, and fortify the key foundations of its business model. The company remains focused on moving the trillions of consumer spending in cash and checks to cards and digital accounts on Visa’s network of networks.
Visa’s growth has been driven by the strength of the company’s core products — credit, debit and prepaid.
Credit: Credit cards and digital credentials allow consumers and businesses to access credit to pay for goods and services. Credit cards are affiliated with programs operated by financial institution clients, co-brand partners, fintechs and affinity partners.
Debit: Debit cards and digital credentials allow consumers and small businesses to purchase goods and services using funds held in their bank accounts. Debit cards enable account holders to transact in person, online or via mobile without needing cash or checks and without accessing a line of credit. The Visa/PLUS Global ATM network also provides debit, credit and prepaid account holders with cash access, and other banking capabilities, in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through issuing and acquiring partnerships with both financial institutions and independent ATM operators.
Prepaid: Prepaid cards and digital credentials draw from a designated balance funded by individuals, businesses or governments. Prepaid cards address many use cases and needs, including general purpose reloadable, payroll, government and corporate disbursements, healthcare, gift and travel. Visa-branded prepaid cards also play an important part in financial inclusion, bringing payment solutions to those with limited or no access to traditional banking products.
The company enables consumer payments and help its clients grow as digital commerce, new technologies and new participants continue to transform the payments ecosystem. Some examples include:
Tap to Pay
As the company seeks to improve the user experience in the face-to-face environment, contactless payments or tap to pay, which is the process of tapping a contactless card or mobile device on a terminal to make a payment, has emerged as a preferred way to pay among consumers in many countries around the world. Tap to pay adoption is growing and many consumers have come to expects touchless payment experiences.
Globally, the company has more than 30 countries and territories with more than 90 percent contactless penetration and more than 90 countries where tap to pay is more than 50 percent of face-to-face transactions. Excluding the United States, more than 70 percent of face-to-face transactions globally were contactless. In the U.S., Visa has 28 percent contactless penetration and 495 million tap-to-pay-enabled Visa cards. The company has activated more than 600 contactless public transport projects worldwide. In addition, the company surpassed one billion contactless transactions on global transit systems in fiscal year 2022.
Visa Token Service (VTS) brings trust to digital commerce innovation. As consumers increasingly rely on digital transactions, VTS is designed to enhance the digital ecosystem through improved authorization, reduced fraud and improved consumer experience. VTS helps protect digital transactions by replacing 16-digit Visa account numbers with a token that includes a surrogate account number, cryptographic information and other data to protect the underlying account information. This security technology can work for a variety of payment transactions, both in the physical and online space.
The provisioning of network tokens continues to accelerate. As September 30, 2022, Visa provisioned more than 4 billion network tokens, surpassing the number of physical cards in circulation. The milestone reinforces Visa’s commitment to secure, seamless, digital payments, in-store and online.
Click to Pay
Click to Pay provides a simplified and more consistent cardholder checkout experience online by removing time-consuming key entry of personal information and enabling consumer and transaction data to be passed securely between payments network participants. Based on the EMV Secure Remote Commerce industry standard, Click to Pay brings a standardized and streamlined approach to online checkout and meets the needs of consumers shopping across a growing number of connected devices. The goal of Click to Pay is to make digital payments safe, consistent and interoperable like the checkout experience in physical stores.
Visa’s network of networks approach creates opportunities to capture new sources of money movement through card and non-card flows for consumers, businesses and governments around the world by facilitating P2P, B2C, B2B, B2b and G2C payments.
Visa Direct is Visa’s global, real-time payments network that helps facilitate the fast delivery of funds directly to eligible cards and bank accounts around the world. Visa Direct leverages Visa’s infrastructure to enable different transaction types and new money flows between parties for a wide range of use cases, such as P2P payments and account-to-account transfers, business and government payouts to individuals and small businesses, merchant settlements and refunds.
For the year ended September 30, 2022, the company had 5.9 billion Visa Direct transactions, an increase of 36 percent year over year, excluding Russia from both periods, and more than 60 use cases and 2,000 programs. Visa Direct connected 16 card-based networks, 66 automated clearing house (ACH) schemes, 11 real-time payment (RTP) networks and five gateways. With the addition of push-to-wallet capabilities to Visa Direct Payouts, which is an existing service that allows Visa financial institutions and its partners to send push-to-account and push-to-card payouts, Visa Direct will be able to provide access to nearly 7 billion cards, accounts and digital wallets across more than 190 countries and territories.
Visa Business Solutions
The company is also extending its network with business-to-business (B2B) payments. The company‘s three strategic areas of focus include investing and growing card-based payments, accelerating its efforts in non-card, cross-border payments and digitizing domestic accounts payable and accounts receivable processes. The company offers a portfolio of business payment solutions, including small business, corporate (travel) cards, purchasing cards, virtual cards and digital credentials, non-card cross-border B2B payment options and disbursement accounts, covering most major industry segments around the world. Business solutions are designed to bring efficiency, controls and automation to small businesses, commercial and government payment processes, ranging from employee travel to fully integrated, invoice-based payables.
Visa B2B Connect is a multilateral B2B cross-border payments network designed to facilitate transactions from the bank of origin directly to the beneficiary bank, helping streamline settlement and optimize payments for financial institutions’ corporate clients. The network delivers B2B cross-border payments that are predictable, flexible, data-rich, secure and cost-effective. Visa B2B Connect continues to scale and is available in more than 100 countries and territories.
Visa Treasury as a Service
Aligned with its global network of networks strategy, the company focuses on building the infrastructure that enables its clients to deliver cross-border products and services for their consumers. This includes a series of new solutions for the company’s established cross-border consumer payments business, as well as introducing new use cases enabled by its digitally native Currencycloud platform, which includes real-time foreign exchange rates, virtual accounts, and enhanced liquidity and settlement capabilities.
Value Added Services
Value added services represent an opportunity for the company to diversify its revenue with products and solutions that differentiate its network, deepen its client relationships and deliver innovative solutions across other networks.
Visa DPS is one of the largest issuer processors of Visa debit transactions in the world. In addition to multi-network transaction processing, Visa DPS also provides a wide range of value added services, including fraud mitigation, dispute management, data analytics, campaign management, a suite of digital solutions and contact center services. The company’s capabilities in API-based issuer processing solutions, like DPS Forward, allow its clients to create new payments use cases and provide them with modular capabilities for digital payments.
The company also provides a range of other services and digital solutions to issuers, such as account controls, digital issuance, branded consumer experiences and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) capabilities. BNPL or installment payments allow shoppers the flexibility to pay for a purchase in equal payments over a defined period of time. Visa is investing in installments as a payments strategy — by offering a portfolio of BNPL solutions for traditional clients, as well as installments providers, who use its cards and services to support a wide variety of installment options before, during or after checkout, in store and online.
Cybersource is a global payment management platform that provides modular, value added services in addition to the traditional gateway function of connecting merchants to payment processing. Using Cybersource, merchants of all sizes can improve the way their consumers engage, transact and mitigate fraud; help to lower operational costs; and adapt to changing business requirements. Cybersource white-labeled capabilities provide new and enhanced payment integrations with ecommerce platforms, enabling sellers and acquirers to provide tailored commerce experiences with payments seamlessly embedded. Cybersource enables an omnichannel solution with a cloud-based architecture to deliver more innovation at the point of sale.
In addition, Visa provides secure, reliable services for merchants and acquirers that reduce friction and drive acceptance. Examples include Global Urban Mobility, which supports transit operators to accept Visa contactless payments in addition to closed-loop payment solutions; and Visa Account Updater, which provides updated account information for merchants to help strengthen customer relationships and retention. Visa also offers dispute management services, including a network-agnostic solution from Verifi that enables merchants to prevent and resolve disputes with a single connection.
Risk and Identity Solutions
Visa’s risk and identity solutions transform data into insights for near real-time decisions and facilitate account holder authentication to help clients prevent fraud and protect account holder data. With the increasing popularity of omnichannel commerce and digital payments among consumers, fraud prevention helps increase trust in digital payments. Solutions such as Visa Advanced Authorization, Visa Secure, Visa Advanced Identity Score, Visa Consumer Authentication Service, and payment-decisioning solutions from CardinalCommerce empower financial institutions and merchants with tools that help automate and simplify fraud prevention and enhance payment security.
These value-added fraud prevention tools layer on top of a suite of programs that protect the safety and integrity of the payment ecosystem, and along with the company’s investments in intelligence and technology, help to prevent, detect and mitigate threats. These programs and Visa’s fraud prevention expertise are among the core benefits of being part of the Visa network. Through the combined efforts of security and identity tools and services, payment and cyber intelligence, insights and learnings from client or partner breach investigations, and law enforcement engagement, Visa helps protect financial institutions and merchants from fraud and solve payment security challenges.
In March 2022, Visa acquired Tink AB (Tink), an open banking platform, to catalyze fintech innovation and accelerate the development and adoption of open banking securely and at scale. Visa’s open banking capabilities range from data access use cases, such as account verification, balance check and personal finance management, to payment initiation capabilities, such as account-to-account transactions and merchant payments. These capabilities can help the company’s partner businesses deliver valuable services to their customers.
Visa Consulting and Analytics is the payments consulting advisory arm of Visa. The combination of the company’s deep payments expertise, proprietary analytical models applied to a breadth of data and its economic intelligence allows it to identify actionable insights, make recommendations and help implement solutions that can drive better business decisions and measurable outcomes for clients. Visa Consulting and Analytics offers consulting services for issuers, acquirers, merchants, fintechs and other partners, spanning the entire customer journey from acquisition to retention.
Network of Networks
Visa strives to become a network of networks, offering a single connection point for senders and receivers to enable money movement to all endpoints and to all form factors, using all available networks.
Visa’s technology platforms include software, hardware, data centers and a large telecommunications infrastructure, each with a distinct architecture and operational footprint wrapped with several layers of security and protection technologies. Visa’s three data centers are a critical part of the company’s global processing environment and have a high redundancy of network connectivity, power and cooling designed to provide continuous availability of systems. Together, these systems deliver the secure, convenient and reliable service that its clients and consumers expect from the Visa brand.
The company’s in-depth, multi-layer security approach includes a formal program to devalue sensitive and/or personal data through various cryptographic means; embedded security in the software development lifecycle; identity and access management controls to protect against unauthorized access; and advanced cyber detection and response capabilities. The company deploys security tools that help keep its clients and consumers safe. The company also invests significantly in its comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. The company deploys security technologies to strengthen data confidentiality, the integrity of its network and service availability to protect its core cybersecurity capabilities to minimize risk.
Visa’s strong brand helps deliver added value to the company’s clients and their customers, financial institutions, merchants and partners through compelling brand expressions, a wide range of products and services, as well as innovative brand and marketing efforts. In line with its commitment to an expansive and diverse range of partnerships for the benefit of the company’s stakeholders, Visa is the only brand in the world that is a top sponsor of FIFA, the Olympic Games, and the National Football League (NFL) and is one of the most active sponsors of women’s football around the world.
Fintech and Digital Partnerships
Fintechs are key enablers of new payment experiences and new flows. The company’s work with fintechs has opened new points of acceptance, extended credit at the point of sale, made cross-border money flows more efficient, moved B2B spend onto Visa’s network, expedited payroll and provided digital wallet customers access to its services.
To better serve fintechs, Visa has a suite of streamlined commercial programs and digital onboarding tools. The company’s Fintech Fast Track program enables qualifying fintechs to quickly launch and scale their programs. The program has welcomed hundreds of fintechs who are actively engaged in the program.
With its startup engagement programs, the Visa Everywhere Initiative and the Inclusive Fintech 50, early-stage companies can build payment solutions based on the company’s capabilities. With the global Visa Fintech Partner Connect program, the company is helping its clients tap into innovations emerging from the fintech community. The program is designed to help financial institutions quickly connect with a curated set of technology providers, helping Visa’s issuing partners create digital-first experiences.
For the year ended September 30, 2022, the company acquired The Currency Cloud Group Limited (Currencycloud), a global platform that enables financial institutions and fintechs to provide innovative, cross-border foreign exchange solutions. The company also acquired Tink AB (Tink), an open banking platform that enables financial institutions, fintechs and merchants to build financial products and services and move money.
The company owns and manages the Visa brand, which stands for acceptance, security, convenience, speed and reliability. The company’s portfolio of Visa-owned trademarks is important to its business. Visa is the trademark of the company.
The company’s competitors include American Express, Discover, Alipay and WeChat Pay.
The company is subject to anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and other laws that generally prohibit the making or offering of improper payments to foreign government officials and political figures for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or to gain an unfair business advantage. The company is also subject to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations, including the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. In addition, the company is subject to economic and trade sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S.
Visa is subject to financial sector oversight and regulation in substantially all of the jurisdictions in which the company operates. In the U.S., for example, the Federal Banking Agencies (FBA) has supervisory oversight over Visa under applicable federal banking laws and policies as a technology service provider to U.S. financial institutions. The federal banking agencies comprising the FBA are the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration.
Visa in Europe continues to be subject to complex and evolving regulation in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the U.K. The company is also subject to regulations governing privacy and data protection, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism and sanctions. Other regulations in Europe, such as the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), require, among other things, that the company’s financial institution clients provide certain customer account access rights to emerging non-financial institution players. Visa Europe Limited (Visa Europe) is also subject to supervisory oversight by the European Central Bank and other national competent authorities in Europe.