Behind the scenes, part of the great digital shift in payments that has been evolving over the last 18+ months has been supported by debit push payments. Forbes took note of this in an article highlighting the growth of Visa Direct. A big part of the success of Visa Direct is not its price, as it is definitely more expensive than other payment forms, but its ability to reach 5 billion end points, its ability to support cross-border activity, and its known processing standards.
In 2017, Visa reported Direct volume in the U.S. of $14 billion on 112 million transactions. Now, Visa reports more than $5 billion transactions globally in 2021 (dollar volume not disclosed). While the price of Direct in comparison to real time payments may moderate push payments growth domestically, the opportunity for cross-border appears significant:
According to Ruben Salazar, Global Head of Visa Direct, its offering is already unique due to “the reach of the network”, currently supporting 174 countries for cross-border payouts to card or account, with 167 enabled for domestic payouts.
It’s also growing significantly. In full-year 2021, Visa Direct passed 5 billion transactions globally, up from 3.5 billion in full-year 2020, and is now connected to more than 5 billion endpoints – with more growth planned.
“Today, what we are doing is technically enabling every Visa credential to become an endpoint, meaning just by using the 16 digit that is on the card, you can land a transaction from anywhere,” says Salazar.
“That does immediately give us a reach of 3.6 billion credentials out there. But what we want to build is something that becomes so ubiquitous that anybody can send money to anywhere.”
The ultimate goal, he says, is to become “the de facto most efficient, secure money movement network on Earth”.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group