Visa recently announced that it was going to give developers access to its payments technology to encourage them to develop new products and services to compliment it. Known as the Visa Developer, it is essentially the company’s response to consumer demand for enhanced security and highly user-friendly platforms.

It’s an unusual move within the financial sector as traditionally they have all been apprehensive about technology. However, with significant progress in technology and alternative payment platforms coming into direct competition, Visa had no choice but take up the FinTech challenge, head on.

Naturally, you can expect more financial giants to follow over the coming months.

Paypal was the original industry disrupter, but now we have plenty more like Blockchain (where you can get paid in digital currency), Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Payoneer, and several others who are starting to cut into the market share of the traditional financial sector.

So What’s Visa Really Trying to Achieve?

The general feeling in the developer community is that Visa is hoping to enable developers to use its technology via APIs (or application programming interfaces). This in turn will enable Visa to stay relevant long after the FinTech revolution has followed its course.

This makes total sense as people mostly use FinTech applications to make payments or transfers. The Visa Developer platform has already been trialed by tech companies and financial institutions, but this is the first time it will be open to all developers.

Firms that have already tested the technology are as follows:

  • TD Bank
  • VenueNext
  • Capital One
  • National Australia Bank
  • Emirates NBD
  • Scotiabank

The SDK contains standard technology like payment products and services APIs that are used to build software and applications.

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For now, Visa will only give access to account holder identification, currency conversion, consumer transaction alerts, person-to-person payment capabilities, and secure in-store and online payment services. More access will follow later in the year.

At the moment, developers will not have access to its core backbone. However, there will be access to a checkout system for mobile apps and REST architecture APIs with a PHP interfaces.

So what does this mean for developers?

In the simplest terms, developers can expect to start working with this technology a lot in 2016.

Visa is Betting on Developers to Survive

Visa is banking on a lot of developers embracing its technology as a result of Visa’s long reach across the world. This is highly likely as Visa is a financial giant whose influence spans across a wide range of industries. In fact, it’s the word largest payment processing network.

So developers can expect to increasingly work with this technology. Further, this technology can be accessed for free, so the company is hoping that the volume of transactions will rapidly start rising.

Presently, Visa has more than $2.6 billion credit and debit cards circulating around the planet and has processed approximately $7 billion in 2015.

The Visa developer program will release more and more APIs each month, so expect that number to significantly rise from 155 pretty soon.

What do you think of Visa’s new developer program?

Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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