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About us

Visa Europe is the European payments company – together with our European members and partners we are making payments faster, smarter, more convenient and more secure than ever before.

At a glance

 
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€1.32tr point-of-sale spending

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487m Visa accounts

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0.043% total fraud losses as a percentage of total Visa volumes

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14.5bn authorisations processed

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+400% contactless transaction growth

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37 countries

 
 

As a membership association, Visa Europe is a unique entity. We are a collectively owned European payments system. And our business model ensures that our own interests are directly aligned with those of our members.

 
A man holding a Visa card

How we create value

Our brand

Visa is the world's leading payments brand, trusted by consumers and retailers alike to handle everyday payments.

Our payment solutions

We manage and develop payment solutions that build on European investments and meet the needs of European businesses and consumers.

Our systems of governance

Visa Europe is owned and controlled by our members, which ensures that our business interests are aligned with theirs.

Our low-cost business model

Through financial rigour and discipline, we invest for the future and keep our costs and our fees low.

Our processing services

We build and operate reliable, flexible, always-on, pan-European processing platforms.

Our partnerships

Through our initiatives and investments, we influence and accelerate the use of innovative, mass-market mobile money solutions.

 

How we earn revenues

We provide, on a competitive basis, the products, services, systems and the operating regulations that enable our members to participate in the global Visa system.

The majority of revenues are earned through three major areas:

 
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Association fees

are determined by the number of cards issued and the extent to which these cards are used from both an issued and acquired perspective

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Data processing fees

are determined by each member's connections to the Visa Europe processing systems and the extent to which these systems are used

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International fees

are determined by the extent to which Visa cards are used outside the country of issue. Fees are levied on both an acquiring and issuing perspective

 

How we enable universal payments

Almost anyone can use Visa to pay for almost anything, at almost any retailer, in more than 200 countries worldwide.

What makes this possible is the Visa four party model.

Visa enables participating consumers, retailers, issuers and acquirers to do business with each other. Visa is the 'glue' that binds the whole system together.

 
Visa four party model: 1 - Card issuer, 2 - Consumer, 3 - Retailer, 4 - Card acquirer
  • Stage 1: The issuer provides the consumer with a Visa account – which could be debit, credit or prepaid.
  • Stage 2: The consumer selects goods to buy and indicates that they want to pay by Visa.
  • Stage 3: The retailer submits the transaction to the acquirer.
  • Stage 4: The acquirer submits the transaction to the issuer.
  • Stage 5: The issuer approves the transaction – and remits the retailer price to the acquirer, less an interchange fee.
  • Stage 6: The acquirer pays the retailer, less a merchant service charge (which is negotiated directly between the acquirer and the retailer).
  • Stage 7: The consumer is billed the retailer price on their statement.
Slide 1

Stage 1

The issuer provides the consumer with a Visa account – which could be debit, credit or prepaid.

Slide 2

Stage 2

The consumer selects goods to buy and indicates that they want to pay by Visa.

Slide 3

Stage 3

The retailer submits the transaction to the acquirer.

Slide 4

Stage 4

The acquirer submits the transaction to the issuer.

Slide 5

Stage 5

The issuer approves the transaction – and remits the retailer price to the acquirer, less an interchange fee.

Slide 6

Stage 6

The acquirer pays the retailer, less a merchant service charge (which is negotiated directly between the acquirer and the retailer).

Slide 7

Stage 7

The consumer is billed the retailer price on their statement.

 

Increasingly, the four parties are joined by many other entities, such as mobile network operators, device manufacturers or technology vendors. Each of these provides services on behalf of or in partnership with one of the four parties in the model.