Payment giant Visa announced the European launch of Visa Direct, a real-time international payments platform.

Visa has announced the European launch of Visa Direct. It is a real-time payments platform that allows companies to leverage Visa’s global reach and scale to transform domestic and cross-border payments for businesses and consumers. 

Visa is working with payment service providers, financial institution clients and strategic partners to roll out services using Visa Direct. In the US, Visa Direct is already enabling payments for partners such as PayPal, Braintree, Square Cash, and Stripe.

According to the press release, Visa Direct is expected to transform payments in Europe by enabling a range of real-time payment use cases backed by the security and scale of Visa’s global payment network, including:

  • Business-to-consumer: enabling businesses to send almost any kind of payment directly to a Visa account – such as gaming winnings, insurance payouts, and daily merchant settlements.
  • Business-to-business: enabling businesses to pay freelancers, contractors, and other small businesses – in real time.
  • Person-to-person: enabling consumers to pay each other quickly, conveniently, and securely, often through their connected devices – such as when splitting bills or giving gifts.

Thanks to Visa Direct,  funds can be transferred into the recipient’s Visa account quickly, conveniently, and securely – providing instant access to funds and the ability to make purchases at 44 million retail locations worldwide.

Visa Direct is one of many networking features based on the application programming interface (API) available on the Visa Developer Platform. It is an open platform designed to implement innovations in payments and trade. The platform is designed to help financial institutions, traders and technology companies meet the demands of consumers and merchants, who increasingly rely on connected devices for purchase and payment.

Mike Lemberger, senior vice president of Product Solutions, Visa, Europe, said:

“For decades, Visa has led the way in transforming the way we pay in stores and online. Now, we have an opportunity to transform how consumers and businesses pay each other in a fast, convenient and secure way. Visa Direct is a proven platform that enables technology companies, businesses and financial institutions to meet the demand for real-time payments, backed by the ubiquity, cost-efficiency and speed of Visa’s global network.”

Visa is partnering with Worldpay, the world leader in payment processing technologies and merchant solutions, to accelerate the availability of Visa. After receiving banks make the necessary changes to their systems, Visa Direct will allow Worldpay merchants to send payments in real time to consumers, increasing customer satisfaction.

Dave Glaser, Chief Product Officer, Global eCom at Worldpay said:

“In recent years, the payments landscape has changed dramatically with clients and consumers alike expecting to be able to make a payment under their own terms – whether that is making a real-time payment or using a specific method. We are proud to be working with Visa on this unrivalled platform as an early adopter in Europe and other global markets and believe that Visa Direct is an important step in meeting those needs – providing both acquirers and merchants with the tools they need.”

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