Visa expands transaction processing capability to Singapore, UK

Visa expands transaction processing capability to Singapore, UK

This is the first time its VisaNet transaction processing network is being brought out of the United States.

FILE PHOTO: View shows credit cards
A VISA credit card is pictured next to a computer chip on a bank card in this photo illustration taken June 9, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev/Illustration/File Photo)

SINGAPORE: Payments provider Visa on Wednesday (Jul 26) announced it will deploy its transaction processing capabilities to Singapore and the United Kingdom - the first time it is being brought out of the United States.

With the new nodes for its VisaNet transaction processing network, Visa will have four synchronised data centres that will increase the redundancy and resilience of its payments infrastructure and minimise the likelihood of service disruptions to the 16,600 financial institutions, millions of merchant acceptance locations and three billion cards it services, the company said in its press release.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Rajat Taneja, executive vice president of Technology at Visa, said this means there will be four such facilities in three continents, yet the system is built like a "mesh" that allows it to work as one unit.

"If one node is down, there will be enough capacity in the others (to pick up the slack)," Mr Taneja explained, which is why there is increased resiliency in the infrastructure. 

He also said consumers may not notice any perceptible benefits, but having the additional processing nodes in Singapore and the UK will shave off "milliseconds" in the time taken to process a transaction.

The new Singapore facility is an expansion of its existing data centre, which is co-located in a Singtel-operated site, Mr Taneja said, and the company is taking up a floor there. 

The expansion of VisaNet sets Visa up for the future, the executive said, and this will be in mobile payments. Essentially, this would increase the scale, resiliency and security of VisaNet to ensure that their customers' cards are always working, he said.


The new development would allow for Visa to look at country-specific innovations.

Mr Taneja pointed to mVisa, which was initially launched in India, as an example. The offering allows users to pay for purchases by scanning the merchants' QR code via their smartphones - eliminating the need for physical credit cards or cash.

Asked how much was invested in the new facility in Singapore, the Visa executive vice president said it was a "large amount" and "non trivial", but declined to reveal the exact figure. He did add that the company plans to start processing global transactions in the two new facilities in 2018.  

The new investment is Visa's third major one in Singapore in the last two years, according to the press release. It launched the first international campus of Visa University at its Singapore headquarters last September, and also launched its Singapore Innovation Centre in April that same year.    

Source: CNA/kk