You swipe your card, scan your phone or type in your card number online, and a few seconds later—purchase completed.
Behind that seemingly effortless process lies a complex orchestration requiring endless lines of code, systems communication and more.
When Visa upgrades its systems twice a year, 50,000 changes requiring 150,000 man-hours typically take place. Those changes might include measures to increase speed, improve security or add new features.
For instance, upgrades in 2014 and 2015 allowed banks to issue and merchants to accept more secure chip-and-PIN cards.
So the next time you swipe, or scan, or type, consider that "Transaction complete” for what it really is —work requiring thousands of gallons of coffee to power the behind-the-scenes payments brains at Visa.
Watch the video to get an inside look at what it takes to upgrade our systems.