Visa is looking to take on Silicon Valley payments companies like PayPal and is turning to developers to jumpstart its efforts.
The company launched a far-reaching developer platform Thursday that will allow developers and other companies to access the company’s payments tools. The move marks the first time Visa has made its payments processing tech widely available to third parties.
Right now, Visa Developer consists of more than 150 application program interfaces (APIs) that enable everything from fraud prevention, mobile checkouts and person-to-person payments. These tools are open to any third-party company or developer who wants to experiment with using Visa’s infrastructure into its services. (Though developers can test the tools out for free, Visa will charge developers who launch apps using its APIs.)
Visa is giving software developers access to its payments technology to enable them to develop products and services to complement it, as consumers demand easier-to-use and more secure payment systems.
Like many in the traditional financial services sector, Visa is taking up the fintech challenge and supporting its progression rather than trying to defeat it.
By enabling developers to use its technology through application programming interfaces (APIs), Visa will ensure its payments technology remains in a sector that being shaken up by the fintech revolution.
This is critical because, according to research by EY, money payments and transfers are the most common reason for using fintechs, with 17.6% of respondents to a survey having used them at least once in the past year.
The Visa Developer platform, as it is known, has already been trialled by finance firms and technology companies, including Capital One, Emirates NBD, National Australia Bank, TD Bank, Scotiabank and VenueNext.
Initially, Visa will open up services such as account holder identification, person-to-person payment capabilities, secure in-store and online payment services, currency conversion and consumer transaction alerts. Access to further services is planned over the next year.
Ahead of the launch, Visa’s IT team created payment products and services APIs, the standard technology used by developers to build software and applications.
“We are unbundling Visa’s full suite of products and services and giving developers open access to the underlying payment capabilities,” said Rajat Taneja, executive vice-president of technology at Visa.
Visa is already an investor in Stripe, but it clearly wants companies to dump Silicon Valley upstarts like PayPal and Square.
The pitch is to show that Visa’s greater security, size, history, not to mention that most people already have access to a Visa card, is better than signing your life away to Google.
That’s not a euphemism, either, since Visa SVP Mark Jamison is already trying to stoke anti-tech company sentiment in his blog post. As far as he’s concerned, the “frightful five” of Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are simply not capable of matching Visa’s clout. Sure.