Visa has unveiled a new cloud-based payment platform, which aims to revolutionise the industry by transforming almost any device into a cloud-connected payment terminal.
Called Visa Acceptance Cloud (VAC), the platform will allow acquirers, payment service providers, point of sale (POS) manufacturers, and Internet of Things (IoT) players move payment processing software from being embedded in each hardware device to being universally accessible in the cloud.
“Cloud acceptance is the future of payments,” said Mary Kay Bowman, senior vice president and global head of payment and platform products, Visa. “Cloud-connected POS lets sellers accept payments across a range of devices quickly, simply, and safely, whether at an unattended kiosk in a hotel, a mirror in a high-end retail store or virtual in-home gym, or a smart phone in the hands of a small seller with a roadside newsstand.”
Already live across six geographies, VAC not only turns virtually any device into a cloud-connected payment terminal, but it will also provide seamless, cloud-based software updates, robust analytics, and network services from Visa. Since VAC runs on Visa’s data centers, it also offers leading data security capabilities.
“VAC is a universal platform that helps open up acceptance for all – by freeing our leading technology partners to innovate. On one end of the spectrum, cloud acceptance helps drive inclusion for more small sellers who want to offer digital payments. On the other end, Visa Acceptance Cloud enables advanced shopping and buying experiences that will be central to the future of retail for businesses of all shapes and sizes,” said Bowman. “Moving acceptance to the cloud opens up the possibility of so much innovation from the entire payments ecosystem. This is only the beginning.”
Changing the payment landscape
The new VAC platform comes on the heels of Visa’s successful “Tap to Phone” solution – another industry-first – that transforms current generation Android smartphones and tablets into contactless point of sale terminals.
Introduced in January 2020, it is Visa’s first offering that let sellers accept payments on the devices they already own, just by downloading an app. As of December 2021, there were more than 300,000 devices across 54 countries using Tap to Phone.
Now, expanding beyond phones, VAC enables any POS or connected device to seamlessly accept payments and to incorporate a range of added services, including buy now, pay later, fraud management, Rapid Seller Onboarding, and advanced data analytics.
Ongoing pilots test VAC real-world viability
According to Visa, ongoing pilots of VAC in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia cater to a variety of use cases, including retailers and restaurants in Australia through Visa’s work with U.S.-based fintech, Bleu, NOBAL Technologies’ smart mirror and public trains in Brazil.
“Bleu is working with Visa to bring seamless payments to businesses across Australia for the very first time,” said Sesie Bonsi, president & CEO, Bleu. “While the average business owner can spend as much as $1,000 on POS devices, plus countless hours and more money on time consuming certification processes, moving to Visa Acceptance Cloud removes the barriers of traditional hardware and burdens of device-bound kernel certifications, making it easier for the independent business that we serve to deliver touchless payment options to their customers through any connected device.”
“Retailers are looking to enhance their in-store customer experience to meet the speed and convenience of the online and in-store checkout experiences,” says Bill Roberts, CEO, NOBAL Technologies. “NOBAL‘s intelligent mirror in partnership with VAC from Visa provides payment experiences on our mirror without the expense and expertise required for embedded hardware modules, helping us push the future of retail in new ways.”