With its Visa Digital Enablement Program, announced last week on the same day Google Inc. unveiled Android Pay, Visa Inc. has introduced application programming interfaces for card-issuing institutions to link to potentially thousands of digital-payments services with a single integration and without separate business agreements for each.

Visa also hopes to make those arrangements virtually cost-free for issuers. Services that connect to VDEP agree not to levy fees. And with VDEP Visa itself has decided to permanently waive the tokenization fees it devised last year and put on a temporary hold. The fees reportedly included a 7-cent charge for each token and 2 cents for each decline.

That’s where Visa says VDEP will make things easier. Instead of confronting commercial contracts and integrations individually with each service, issuers will be able to turn on a service with a single connection to Visa. “An issuer will have the ability to throw a switch,” notes Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst at Double Diamond Group, a Centennial, Colo.-based consultancy who follow mobile payments.

Digital Transactions, June 2, 2015
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