CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

As Visa+ Comes to PayPal and Venmo, Interoperable Cross-Border Payments Gain Ground 

global payments, remittances, international, cross-border payments

Interoperability in payments — paying anyone, anywhere, no matter the network — remains a Holy Grail in payments.

And interoperability is a work in progress. But bit by bit and app by app, cross-border, cross-network and cross-wallet compatibility is being forged.

This week, PayPal and Venmo began offering Visa’s peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system, Visa+. The announcement built on earlier news that AstraBrightwellCross River Bank and Fiserv plan to implement Visa+ APIs for their digital wallet and merchant clients by this fall.   

Users who sign up for a Visa+ personalized payment address, or payname, link that designation to their P2P accounts (without sharing mobile phone numbers or email addresses), thus enabling cross-platform fund flows. Visa+ also will use Visa Direct for real-time disbursements, which speeds up B2C payments. 

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that only 23% of smaller businesses say that current cross-border payment solutions are “very or extremely satisfactory.” Thirty-eight percent of SMBs saw an increase in cross-border payments sent or received as recently as 2021.

Visa+ was announced just over a year ago, and as we detailed back then, the sender’s app “calls” the Visa+ service and requests an underlying token, at which time the sender’s app “pushes” payment through to the recipient’s wallet, which is then credited to their account in real time.

Western Union is also joining up, Visa said this week.

An announcement early last month points to the growing importance of cross-border payments.

Visa and Western Union said in March that they’d expanded their partnership to develop disbursement programs for humanitarian organizations and governments to deliver disaster relief, supporting emergency and humanitarian payouts, cross-border pension payouts, and domestic benefits and disbursement payouts.

The expanded collaboration followed Western Union’s integrations with Visa Direct from 2019 and 2022, which allowed U.S.- and Europe-based users send and receive funds directly to and from eligible Visa card holders overseas.

As reported in Western Union’s latest earnings data, during the fourth quarter there was 5% growth in consumer money transfer transactions, with 13% growth in branded digital transactions, indicating that online channels and P2P flows remain healthy.

In December, The World Bank reported that cross-border remittances to low- and middle-income countries grew by 3.8% through the year, reaching as much as $669 billion.