Magazine article American Banker

Visa Completes Major Processing Upgrade

Magazine article American Banker

Visa Completes Major Processing Upgrade

Article excerpt

Visa U.S.A. Inc. said it has completed a major upgrade to its authorization system and opened a processing center to handle those tasks.

"This is the single largest reengineering initiative ever undertaken by Visa," John Partridge, the president and chief executive of Visa's Inovant LLC, said during a conference call Tuesday. His information technology division is in charge of maintaining the San Francisco card association's network, VisaNet.

The authorization system can handle all of Visa's debit, credit and prepaid transactions, and soon it will process automated teller machine ones, too, the association said.

As part of the five-year project, Visa is closing its original data center in San Francisco and shifting its processing work to the new one in Colorado. The new center houses two redundant authorization platforms "under one roof."

The San Francisco center, which Mr. Partridge called the "birthplace" of VisaNet, opened in 1974 when Visa (then BankAmericard) shifted from manual to electronic authorizations.

Visa consolidated two authorization systems: one that handled debit and prepaid transactions, and one that handled credit transactions.

"The new platform can call up services when the transaction is in flight," he said. "And we can call up various services to enhance the transaction, whether it be risk analysis, or loyalty, and we can do that without slowing down the transaction," which is completed on average in 1. …

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