Visa Direct shakes up European instant payments

Visa is looking to shake up the way companies deal with their customers with the launch of a new platform that will allow users to make direct payments in real time.

Visa Direct, which covers P2P, B2C and B2B payments, will allow companies of all sizes to utilise Visa's huge reach to quickly and easily connect to their users, wherever they are in the world.

The service allows real-time transfer of funds from a Visa account, giving instant access to funds, and allowing customers to carry out transactions at the 44 million retail locations that currently support Visa across the world.

The company sees the launch as transformative for businesses and customers alike, due to the rapid access it will provide to funds. In the B2B space, Visa Direct could be used by companies to pay freelancers, contractors or suppliers in real time, cutting down on administrative headaches. B2C users could use the service to send payments to their customers in a speedy way, with P2P payments also being completed almost instantly, whether via a PC or mobile device.

Visa has teamed up with WorldPay to help accelerate the launch of Visa Direct across Europe, with the company already counting the likes of PayPal, Braintree, Square Cash and Stripe in the US.

“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 business pay each other in a fast, convenient and secure way,” said Mike Lemberger, senior vice president of product solutions, Visa in Europe. 

“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.”