Visa Direct is a VisaNet processing capability that allows safe, convenient, real-time1 funds delivery directly to financial accounts using card credentials. Visa Direct clients use the capability to enable use cases2 such as person-to-person (P2P) payments, funds disbursements, bill pay, or cross border remittances directly to an eligible debit or prepaid card.
The growing expectation to have immediate access to money is changing the way consumers, merchants, corporations, ﬁnancial institutions, and governments send and receive payments. In 2017, 56% of disbursements took between 2 days to 14 days for recipients to receive their funds4. This creates an opportunity to innovate with new push-to-card payment solutions. The North America opportunity for real-time payments represents $18.5T in addressable payment volume. For disbursments alone, in just four years between 2014 and 2018, the total dollar volume rose 48%3, and now amounts to an estimated $12.5 trillion annually. Globally, funds disbursements are an $80 trillion opportunity2.
Visa Direct clients can use Account Funding Transactions (AFTs) to pull funds from an eligible card account (similar to classic card purchase transactions) Original Credit Transactions (OCTs) to push funds to an eligible debit or prepaid card account. Below are two specific examples:
Person to person transactions (P2P)
In person to person transactions, money is pulled from the sender’s account using an Account Funding Transaction (AFT), then pushed to the recipient’s account using an Original Credit Transaction (OCT).
Funds Disbursements: For example, Business to Consumer (B2C), Small business disbursements (B2B), Government disbursements (G2C)
Disbursement transactions occur when a Business/Corporate (sender) sends money to a cardholder's debit or prepaid card using an OCT. The funding source is the Business/Corporate originating the transaction.
The original credit transaction (OCT) is a VisaNet Transaction that can be used to send or "push" funds to an eligible card based account, resulting in a credit of funds to the cardholder's account.
The Account Funding Transaction (AFT) is a VisaNet transaction used to "pull" funds from a card account in order to fund a "push" OCT to a different account, which can be either the cardholder's or another person's account.
As a global leader in payments, Visa can uniquely take advantage of its existing network of financial institutions, merchants and Visa accounts around the world to help its clients to offer secure, convenient and cost-effective money transfer solutions. Because Visa Direct utilizes Visa's existing payment network infrastructure, the platform is highly cost-effective, secure and scalable to markets globally.
Businesses (Senders) must connect to Visa through a Payment Gateway, Processor or Acquirer and will need to ask their payment service provider for timing.
Implementations and timing will vary depending on each client and their level of technical capacity and resources.
Each Visa Direct program must have an acquirer sponsor. The first step in any Visa Direct program is to establish a relationship with a Visa Acquiring Bank who will sponsor the program and provide the acquiring BIN.
For Payment Gateways, Processors, or Acquirers (Solution Providers) who are integrating with Visa, the process may include managing the following elements. Web/mobile experience design: PCI Compliant Card Capture using APIs, Widget or White Labeled Portal, and customer alerts or notifications support
Risk Management and Security: user authentication, KYC, capture payment preferences, Card on File Token
Customer Service: Processes to handle customer enquiries or disputes
Operations: Processes to perform exception management and API integration to send the payment instruction to the Payment Gateway or Processor Provider. Could include the process of switching from paper checks to digital payments.
Treasury & Finance: Updating systems to ensure there are sufficient funds available for settlement with Visa. This includes handling financial reporting and funding of settlement accounts. A new settlement account may be required with the Acquiring Bank.
In addition to technical connectivity between the client and their payment gateway and acquiring Bank, there is a standardized onboarding process for all new programs. If new BINs or merchants need to be established, some technical set-up may be required .
Visa Direct programs must be approved by Visa prior to program launch. Acquirers must obtain approval by completing the Visa Direct Program Information Form (PIF). The PIF details the scope of the proposed origination program and related controls, including information such as BIN, domestic vs. cross-border program parameters, processor and third party agents, etc. A PIF is required for all new Visa Direct programs and for any updates or changes to existing Visa Direct programs.
These FAQs are based on the Original Credit Transaction Global Implementation Guide (GIG) and the Visa Rules effective [April 2018]. Clients should always refer to the most current GIG and Visa Rules. The FAQs are intended to inform and guide Visa clients about Visa Direct.