Visa to use XML API to connect merchant third parties to VisaNet

Source: Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced plans to offer merchants a more streamlined connection to Visa's global network, allowing them to more easily accept the next generation of payment products, offer real-time rewards, redemptions and discounts and other value-added services.

The new program is designed to allow Value Added Resellers (VARs), Acquirers and other payment gateway providers serving merchants with payment solutions to directly connect to VisaNet, Visa's global processing network, via a flexible XML-based API that is currently in development and expected to be available by summer 2011. This is intended to expedite the delivery of new services and offer merchants a more streamlined payment processing solution, as well as provide direct access to Visa's secure, reliable, and information-rich processing services.

"More and more merchants are relying on the comprehensive solutions offered by value added resellers and acquirers for their payments processing needs," said Darren Parslow, Global Head of Processing, Visa Inc. "By directly connecting these entities to Visa we can positively impact not only VARs and acquirers but also merchants and consumers. The bottom line is that Visa is working to simplify commerce across a broad range of transaction environments, including ecommerce, mobile, social commerce and point-of-sale."

How It Works

Visa's new program, which is expected to be available to qualified partners in the third quarter of 2011, is designed to allow VARs, Acquirers and service providers to directly connect to VisaNet through a robust, flexible, information-based API using XML. This will enable them to manage and certify to one connection for all payment types, and establish a direct communications access channel for payments and information passing through the processing hub of Visa. This can benefit VARs, acquirers and other payment providers by enabling them to offer merchants access to advanced, real-time processing services and information-based products offered by Visa.

The new program is intended to benefit VARs, acquirers and merchants in four major areas:

* Simplified Processing: By reducing the number of touch points, simplifying communications between the point of sale and VisaNet, and usingningnd using the latest technology standards for secure data delivery, payments and information can be processed with speed and reliability while also allowing merchants to implement new payment products and services quickly and efficiently.
* Innovation: The program is designed to remove barriers to innovation and help merchants accept a new generation of payments solutions that 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. For example, merchants working with VARs participating in the program will be better able to easily implement support for Visa's secure cross-channel digital wallet, which was announced earlier today, and is expected to offer a range of customized mobile payment services that address the specific requirements of geographic markets around the world.
* Business Growth: For VARs the program can enhance their existing merchant relationships and enable the creation of new relationships through new value-added services made possible by the program. Visa's new API network connections will allow merchant to integrate data into the payments process and over time offer new solutions for loyalty, discounts, rewards, recognition that may help them attract and retain customers. Acquirers can take advantage of technology investments being made by Visa and help merchant enhance relationships with their customers.
* Enhanced Security: Visa is also developing an end-to-end encryption solution to support PCI compliance and help protect customer data in new and emerging payment channels, such as ecommerce and mobile.

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