Visa unveils next generation payments platform

visa open platform diagram
DIRECT CONNECTION: Visa Open Platform connects issuers with processor and provider services and Visa-powered services, including Visa Token Service and Visa Developer Platform

Visa is inviting issuers and processors to explore a new payments platform designed to “turn the transaction on its head” and “unlock an entirely new world of possibility when it comes to accessing, accruing and saving money”.

The platform comprises a set of beta APIs, specifications and development tools for issuers and issuer processors that can be used “to begin building and beta testing new payment products to help meet the future needs of digital-first consumers”.

At launch, the available APIs include:

  • Create new digital card accounts on demand.
  • Add newly issued or existing cards to the platform “to build solutions that seamlessly combine multiple Visa digital services”.
  • Instantly activate and tokenize digital accounts for use in ecommerce and mobile wallets.
  • Enable a consumer’s mobile device for contactless or QR payments using tokens.
  • Deliver rich transaction data to clients for real-time actions or authorization decisions, and purchase alerts to the cardholder.
  • Configure rules and limitations for the use of digital cards, such as turning transaction controls on or off at any time, setting dynamic transaction or spending limits, controlling use by purchase channel or by geography, and controlling use by merchant type or individual merchant.
  • Share digital companion cards and control access in real time, including the ability to independently manage controls on linked or shared digital cards.

Additional beta APIs — including loyalty, benefits and rewards, and new transaction controls — will be released “throughout 2019”, Visa says. “In 2019, we’ll also be launching a pilot program,” the payments network adds.

“In an era where consumers expect to configure and control digital experiences to match their specific needs, Visa should empower them to do the same with their money,” says Sam Shrauger, SVP global issuer and consumer solutions at Visa.

“By helping reimagine how money is used in a digital age and by making new services available through Visa Next, we are going to unlock new ways for partners and clients to interact with Visa and bring to life the next generation of digital-first payments products to meet those unique needs of consumers worldwide.”

“Many consumers in Asia, for example, use a super-app wallet that is only accepted within their country borders, but not necessarily elsewhere,” Shrauger explains.

“With the new set of capabilities, Visa’s clients and partners can give their customers an option to turn their wallet balance into a digital Visa card, right on their mobile device, and begin transacting in over 200 countries and territories, at 53.9 million merchant locations where Visa is accepted.

“The capabilities can also help bring to life additional functionality, including the ability to set card controls, load ‘tap to pay’ and create transaction notifications for consumers.”

Visa’s overall goal is to enable consumers to do what they want with their money, Shrauger says in a video interview with Laura Brodsky, Visa’s senior director for global strategic initiatives:

“Imagine if parents could instantly create a Visa card on their mobile device and send it to their child’s phone for immediate use, instead of giving them cash for movies,” Shrauger adds. “They could also set parameters around where, when, even how long the child can use this card — and adjust these controls at any time via their own mobile device.

“This example is just one of many ways our partners and clients can use this platform. Visa’s innovative tools enable the ecosystem to simplify certain aspects of our everyday lives, giving consumers back the power of managing finances the way it works the best for them.”