Visa makes it easier to pay and be paid. Visa payment transactions take place every second of every day in every corner of the world. We’re accepted in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. Behind each Visa transaction is a remarkable infrastructure ensuring that no matter where in the world you are, Visa transactions are safe, reliable and convenient.
The typical Visa transaction has four parties:
- The merchant is any entity — a store, restaurant, online retailer, hotel or airline — that accepts Visa as payment.
- The acquirer is a financial institution that enlists merchants to accept Visa payments and ensures they get paid for each transaction.
- The issuer is a financial institution that provides Visa-branded cards or other Visa-branded payment products to consumers and businesses. When a Visa-branded credit card is used, the issuer “lends” the consumer the funds to complete the transaction. If it is a debit or prepaid card transaction, the funds are automatically withdrawn from the account and transferred to the acquirer.
- The account holder is any consumer or business using a Visa card or other Visa-branded payment product to make purchases.
A Seamless Global Process
A Visa transaction is a carefully orchestrated process. When a Visa account holder in Mumbai uses a Visa card to buy a pair of shoes, it's actually the acquirer — the merchant's bank — that reimburses the merchant for the shoes. Then, the issuer — the account holder’s bank — reimburses the acquirer, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Lastly, the issuer collects from the account holder by withdrawing funds from the account holder’s bank account if a debit account is used, or through billing if a credit account is used.
Value for All
The system works because it’s global, secure, reliable, convenient and it’s efficient. All parties derive value from the transaction.