Visa Unveils Changes That Could Thin Your Wallet


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Visa announced changes to its credit and debit card operations at its annual Payments Forum on Wednesday that could thin your wallet. 

These innovations are set to make physical cards less relevant and enhance digital payment security.

“The industry is at a pivotal point - new technologies like Gen AI are rapidly shifting how we shop and manage our finances,” said Jack Forestell, Chief Product and Strategy Officer for Visa. “We’re announcing the next generation of truly digital-native payment card experiences. Today we unveiled new card features and digital innovations that will bring consumers into a more customized, convenient and secure future.”

Visa's new features, to be rolled out later this year, include the “Visa Flexible Credential,” which allows a single card to toggle between payment methods like debit, credit, or "pay-in-four" options. 

This feature is already in use in Asia and will be introduced in the U.S. with Affirm this summer.

A major focus of Visa’s updates is the enhancement of tap-to-pay technology. 

New functionalities will enable consumers to use their mobile devices as point-of-sale systems, authenticate identities for online shopping, add cards to digital wallets more securely, and facilitate person-to-person payments.

To combat the rising incidence of online payment fraud, Visa is introducing the "Visa Payment Passkey Service." This service utilizes biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scans, to confirm identities and authorize online payments, eliminating the need for passwords or one-time codes.

Visa is also integrating its "Payment Passkey Service" with Click to Pay. This partnership aims to reduce the manual entry of card details and passwords, enhancing user convenience from the moment a new card is issued.

“There is a global desire to find commonality, interoperability and simplicity for online payments. Our passkeys, designed specifically for payments, represent a massive paradigm shift in our industry because it confirms identity without interrupting the checkout experience,” said Forestell. “Visa Payment Passkey Service increases security while reducing friction when you pay online, across any device or website, globally.”

In addition to card-based innovations, Visa is digitizing account-to-account (A2A) payments with its “Pay by Bank” feature, streamlining experiences like loan applications and other non-card transactions. 

Visa Protect for A2A Payments leverages AI to detect and prevent fraud in real-time for account-to-account transactions, already proving effective in Latin America and the UK, according to Visa. 

Finally, Visa is introducing “data tokens” to give consumers more control over their data privacy. These tokens enable users to consent to sharing their data for personalized shopping experiences while allowing them to review and revoke access through their banking apps.

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