Visa: Modernizing the Financial Transaction

Our vision is to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.

Visa Vision as of March 2021

Did you know that Visa branded credit, debit, commercial, prepaid, mobile, and money transfer products are a leading choice of cardholders and financial institutions in 200 countries and territories? They are literally everywhere transforming transactions, unlocking opportunities, and supporting businesses:  

Another fun fact is that they recently launched a revitalized Visa brand campaign over the summer.  

The new advertisement caught my attention, and their new brand phrase is an invitation to the world to “Meet Visa”. Needless to say, it caught my attention. Not only did I think they did an excellent job with their brand revitalization, but it made me want to see how Visa differentiates its services from the rest of the native and new digital services in this space. Especially, since supporting transactions is how Visa makes their money.  

Visa was founded in 1958, originally as BankAmericard, and when they first started, few could imagine transactions in a world beyond cash and checks. Over time Visa’s founding vision evolved and focused on how to introduce a more secure, reliable, and convenient currency in digital form. For Visa, this began with a simple question: what if money became fully electronic? How would Visa adapt to a world where transactions were fully digital? Today, Visa continues to anticipate the future of digital commerce, providing access through its secure global network working for everyone, everywhere. 

When mentioning the financial industry and how they are working to modernize their infrastructure the “how” they achieve this digital shift can be a bit of a mystery. In order to understand Visa’s shift to support more digital transactions, I took a deeper look into how they are approaching the changing landscape. Not only did I learned that they are covering a lot of ground, but it all starts with VisaNet.  

VisaNet is how they are connecting the world through electronic payments. VisaNet also makes it possible for Visa to deliver the latest innovations for an increasingly mobile society, providing consumers with mobile financial services, such as mobile payments, money transfer and top-up services. Behind the scenes of VisaNet is comprised of is Visa’s cloud-based platform, artificial intelligence, and sophisticated data centers around the globe.  

Through the Visa Cloud Connect, the Visa cloud platform, Visa is helping clients grow their businesses. This platform allows for a secure, flexible, and cost-efficient option for clients to house and process distinct types of transactions to multiple applications. The Visa Cloud Connect also creates new opportunities for global clients by allowing companies (issuers, processors, or acquirers) to roll out programs across multiple regions and access more modern capabilities.  

With VisaNet + AI (Artificial Intelligence) offering this creates an opportunity to their customers to tap into a network service that helps deliver smarter authorization, clearing and settlements. The overall intention of this services is to address long standing challenges that banks, merchants and consumers face. VisaNet +AI comprises several innovative concepts and new value-added services, including Visa Smarter Posting and Visa Smarter Settlement Forecast, as well as Visa Smarter Stand-In Processing (Smarter STIP). These innovations harness Visa’s high-performance AI platform to help make payments more predictable, transparent, and speedy. 

  • Smarter Posting – greater transparency for consumers. 
  • Smarter Settlement Forecast – predictive modeling to anticipate cash flow needs. 
  • Smarter STIP (Stand-In Processing) – improves payment experiences during outages. 

Visa also has a sophisticated data centers, around the globe, that supports hundreds of billions of transactions that flow throw the Visa network. They consider their data centers the most mission critical environments to their business as their global network expands into over 120 countries worldwide. Visa recognizes that not only do they need support their many customers, but that technology is changing rapidly and their data centers need to be at the forefront of innovation in order to move with the changing times. 

Not only is Visa a driving force in how digital transactions are managed they partner with fintechs of all sizes to enable the future of digital payment & solutions. When Visa thinks about the payment and solutions of the future they look for partnerships that will support the what they call the “Next-Generation Commerce,” think things along the lines of crypto solutions. Visa currently supports crypto wallets through their Visa Fintech Fast Track, and they help their users pay with Visa at over 70 million merchants globally. Additionally, they also support crypto APIs which enables the buying, selling and custody of digital currency.  

Visa has shown that they have the capacity, agility, and foresight to meet their vision head on.  Learning about what Visa does today to support digital transactions and how they are approaching the future of payments and solutions I cannot help but think they really are and will be everywhere. As we continue to find our way through digital transactions and currency, I think Visa will continue to be a major player in the space regardless of how disruptive modern technology might become.

10 comments

  1. Amazing article! I always love it when companies can reinvent and transform themselves to stay relevant, and Visa has done just that. You have identified in Visa all the qualities that I believe a business needs to do to stay relevant. I agree with your vision of how Visa will remain relevant in the future, and I see them as a major player in the years to come leading in the digital currency world!

  2. Great post! We’ve talked about the importance for leaders to have vision, and it seems that Visa was ahead of its time when they imagined a world where money was electronic. And it seems they have continued that forward-thinking culture – digital wallet, crypto, AI, and more. Do you think there was a catalyst (like PayPal or even bigger like the internet) that pushed them to innovate and adapt to the times? Or is this simply baked into their foundations as a company?

  3. Loved the post. It’s so fascinating seeing credit card companies continue to innovate each and every day. The fintech landscape is not constant, and it’s imperative for companies like Visa to try and stay ahead of their competition. We used to, and some still, think that new additions to credit cards were the coolest thing since sliced bread. Now, when there are new additions to credit cards, it’s why didn’t we think about that earlier. Visa will continue to be a major player in this space for years to come, and like Carlos says, they will find ways to reinvent themselves and transform their business to stay relevant more than once.

  4. Fintech is definitely an area of fascination for me. While the big players are certainly doing a lot, the startup ecosystem in this area is crazy nuanced. Every possible wrinkle of the financial services sector is ripe for disruption.

  5. Visa is a classic case of the old dogs learning new tricks. An established company like Visa sometimes just needs to stay technologically literate and flexible to keep themselves from being displaced.

  6. Learning about how Visa is adopting to an ever-changing world was fascinating. I enjoyed learning that they are fully onboard with crypto and is allowing users to use their crypto wallets for every day purchases.

    During our last class, my small group discussed how a large percentage of the Chinese population pays for everything with their phone. I think we could see this as an emerging trend in the western world as well. Visa appears to be in a good position to adopt to this, as they are developing smart wallets and apps that are making the leaders in the digital fintech space.

  7. I really enjoyed learning about how such a big company is pushing its own digital transformation efforts. Many times the most disruptive technologies we discuss in class come from startups and smaller platforms. While these smaller firms are certainly interesting a lot of the times I’m left thinking about if the idea in question as actually capable of creating widespread change and being adopted by the majority. With visa, they have so much more power to create change because of the massive user base they work with already.

    With the larger companies, I also feel that in general they are slower to implement new age ideas as it pains them to turn away from what has made them successful. In the case of Visa, its nice to see them recognizing the future with digital wallets and if they continue to push themselves, there’s no doubt they’ll continue to be a power player in this space.

  8. It seems that Visa is doing quite a lot and they’re doing it all quite well! With all this growth and new space that they are finding success, do you believe that they could run into potential issues with regulators? As this is an everchanging space, are there any fears that they may grow too large and need to cut back or face reprimand from government?

  9. I do a lot of integration work with payment services into my company’s point of sale software, and I can tell you from my experience that the vast majority of vendors I have worked with are completely antiquated in their vision and underlying architecture (therefore making it that much more difficult to build into newer cloud systems). I have not worked with Visa in any way yet though, so it is really cool to see how important agility and vision for the future are prioritized there. That sort of foresight is going to be critical once the mass markets all make the inevitable cloud jump and need reliable payment technology that can support their transition.

  10. Echoing a lot of my classmate’s responses, it’s always interesting how the big players are able to stay agile and respond to the industry (*cough* sears *cough*). I tried looking for a similar product from Mastercard and I wasn’t able to find much of anything, I wonder if they’re working on stuff in the backend, if they don’t Visa appears to have the runway to take over this industry and never give it up.

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