28.01.2013, von Mark Chillingworth
Don't for a minute think that having completed the integration of a new payments platform at Visa Europe, CIO Steve Chambers has been taking it easy. As he updates us on his strategy and role at the financial services firm, it's clear that technology continues to reshape the way Visa services are used and how the organisation operates."
"We're a payments business," the company states clearly on its corporate website. "We are not a bank and we don't issue cards. Nor are we a credit card company, so we don't lend or set the fees that the consumers pay. In fact, more than 70 per cent of Visa's payment transactions in Europe are on debit cards." In every essence Visa Europe is a financial services company providing a core transactional process to banks and retailers that then offer that service to their customers.
Having completed the integration of a major payment processing system at Visa Europe, the pace of change at the London- and Reading-based organisation has, if anything, quickened. The payments processing system was, in effect, a new foundational base for the organisation.
Chambers and his team spent three years developing the European-wide platform with a budget of ¬0.5bn, and another three building new value add services. The system provides European banks with a compliant authorisation and clearing settlement platform that has the speed and agility to react to changing consumer and business demands.
"The authentication and payments platform was a single accountable mission, my mission," says Chambers. "Today, instead of three or four big things going on as part of that, it's now chock-a-block as we introduce new technologies to different business layers.
"Take away the Visa brand and we are a technology services firm. I'm roughly half of the business, providing service management and customer relationship support," he explains.