The Visa Developer Platform: Opening the Gates to Innovation


Visa Developer open platform eliminates the gated community mindset and lets anyone create a payments app

Mercator Advisory Group’s latest Emerging Technologies research suggests that if Visa’s Developer sparks innovation, everyone will want a developer sandbox

Published on: April 21, 2016
Author: Tim Sloane
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann

Research from Mercator Advisory Group titled The Visa Developer Platform: Opening the Gates to Innovation identifies how Visa has opened up its network to the widest possible range of developers by creating a sandbox that all developers are free to play in. This approach is entirely new, and if it succeeds in generating innovation, it will become the model for other networks, acquirers, and perhaps innovative issuers. The research note also provides a nontechnical guide to the services that have been API enabled so businesses can quickly grasp how these application programming interfaces (APIs) can be used in their environment to better engage existing customers and create new business opportunities.

“Visa has turned the payment application development model on its head,” said Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation, at Mercator Advisory Group and author of report. “By making a sandbox available to all developers that safely mimics the Visa network, developers are free to innovate with no investment. In return, Visa and its partners have the opportunity to identify and select the solutions that show the most promise. Obviously payment applications must ultimately be sponsored by an entity that is obligated to protect the network, but the sandbox lets developers show everyone one they can accomplish which should make finding a trusted Visa partner much easier. This approach will have ramifications for issuing banks, merchant banks, merchant acquirers, and ISOs.”

This note is 19 pages long and has 1 exhibit. 

Highlights of the research note:

  • Provides the reader a simple guide to the services that Visa has made available to the public

  • Provides a reasonable level of detail related to the specific functions each API controls sufficient to enable businesspeople to think through how each API could be incorporated into their respective business processes

  • Analyzes the impact of this new approach to finding developers, especially the availability of the sandbox

  • Analyzes the potential impact on competitors 


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