Visa Europe chooses BT to help process €2 million of payments every minute

BT’s communications network is the cornerstone of the payment giant’s debit and credit platform 

BT announced today that it has completed a major upgrade of Visa Europe’s communications network, helping the payment giant process around two million euros of payments every minute. 

Managed by BT, the newly enhanced network provides connectivity for Visa Europe’s card authorisation, clearing and settlement services. In addition, it links more than 350 member sites in 37 different countries across Europe. 

Based on BT Connect — its innovative portfolio of networking solutions — the enhanced infrastructure will also support Visa Europe’s corporate connectivity needs. This will connect Visa Europe’s corporate offices and provide remote working, mobile, messaging and video conferencing tools, helping staff collaborate more effectively. 

BT and Visa Europe have built up a strong relationship over the past 12 years to develop a range of managed solutions that support Visa Europe’s ever-expanding user base. BT’s network is a cornerstone of the payment giant’s debit and credit card platform, which handled more than 14.3 billion transactions totalling €1 trillion in the year up until June 2012. 

The technology supports services across 37 European markets where more than one in every three pounds of UK consumer spending and more than one in every seven Euros of European consumer spending is with a Visa card. Almost 80 per cent of that is on Visa debit cards. In Europe there are over 470 million Visa debit, credit, pre-paid and commercial cards.

Steve Chambers, chief information officer, Visa Europe, said: “Trust is very important to Visa Europe and to our customers. We work with providers that we can depend on to make sure our payments remain faster, smarter, convenient and secure. We choose to work with BT because we trust them to deliver on their promises. Their expansive global network supports our international connectivity needs and their focus on innovative technology and services aligns with our strategy.” 

Luis Alvarez, chief executive of BT Global Services, said: “Visa is dealing with millions of people's payment transactions every single day, so their reputation for service, security and innovation is absolutely crucial. Visa Europe’s continued trust in BT and the strengthening of our long term strategic relationship make us very proud. 

“BT has unrivalled experience and expertise as a global communications provider, particularly in the financial services industry – so we’re in a perfect position to deliver innovative solutions which allow Visa Europe to introduce new, easier, and more secure payment options for their members and customers.” 
On top of the BT Connect network, BT will be providing Visa Europe with a range of corporate, consumer and Visa member* services over the duration of the five year contract, including: 

• IP telephony and unified communications tools from the BT One portfolio which provides a range of audio, video and web conferencing and benefits from cost savings, improved communications and corporate productivity. 
• Managed mobile support and remote access to Visa Europe’s corporate network (via broadband and 3G) enabling flexible working for employees. 
• Innovation scouting services whereby Visa Europe will benefit from BT’s research investments into the future of payments. This includes an Innovation Exchange programme where BT and Visa share opinions and education research and development and market direction. 
• Managed messaging service for customers of Visa Europe, providing alerts and notifications of transactions. 


Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre 

Notes to editor 

* Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe. 

BT Connect fully leverages BT’s global network, including Ethernet services in 28 countries, and recent investments expanding the network’s reach across the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. This network has the ability to deliver services in 197 countries and territories and provides speeds of anything from 64Kbps-320Gbps in the UK and 64Kbps-1Gbps globally with future plans for even faster access. 
BT One: A portfolio of voice, enterprise, cloud, and collaboration services designed to consolidate your existing legacy systems and deliver a one-for-all communications framework. It enables collaborative technologies for employees, while giving a powerful end-to-end solution that can help increase productivity, connectivity and opportunity. 

About Visa Europe 

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe. 

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. 

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure. 

There are 470m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to December 2012, over €1 trillion (€1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business. 

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments. 

For more information, please visit www.visaeurope.com 

About BT 

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 

For more information, visit www.btplc.com