Visa Direct Real-time Network


The ubiquity of Real-time money transfers in the U.S. took a step forward with yesterday’s news that Visa Direct was partnering with such major players as PayPal, Fiserv, and Square.

Fiserv became one of the many companies choosing to partner with Visa for faster and more secure payment services, it was announced yesterday. The list also includes PayPal, Square, and Ingo Money. Fiserv, the first company to leverage the Visa Direct platform for P2P, also offers Visa Direct in its Popmoney P2P payments service and Popmoney Small Business personal payments  (c) Can Stock Photoservices.

The importance of partnerships in money transfer services should not be underestimated. Interoperability is essential for funds to actually move from point to point in real time.

This development follows the partnerships with Early Warning’s clearXchange and PayPal that fintech followers heard about on August 2nd. A platform with the ability to transfer funds in seconds and that can reach all of the 200 million debit cards issued by Visa in the U.S. alone gives these companies Real-time access to a wide net of customers.

“With the largest base of debit cards in the country and connections to non-Visa debit cards, Visa Direct provides an unmatched combination of ubiquity, cost-efficiency and speed for companies looking to offer Real-time payments to anyone,” said Jack Forestell, senior vice president of global product, Visa Inc., in the company’s press release.

But wait — isn’t Venmo — a PayPal service — already Real-time? 

“In Venmo, I could use my card to push money into my Venmo account, which happens in Real-time, but if I wanted to cash out it could take awhile,” said Visa Senior Vice President and Head of Push Payments Cecilia Frew.  “Now, users will instantly be able to withdraw their money [using Visa Direct].”

“While these services are and will be competitive, the P2P market is likely to expand significantly due to the increased emphasis placed on it by the banks and networks,” Oglesby says. “That should help all players in the immediate to intermediate terms.”