Loyalty & Rewards

Visa Launches Visa Commerce Network

Now we know why Visa acquired TrialPay back in 2015.

Visa has announced the launch of its new Visa Commerce Network.

Visa CEO Charlie Scharf teased the launch in his Q1 call with investors yesterday, noting that the new platform is “built on the TrialPay platform, which we acquired in 2015. [It] enables our merchants to deliver targeted discounts and benefits to Visa cardholders in order to acquire new customers and increase sales.”

Available to merchants through a set of “easy to install commerce APIs” – the Visa Commerce Network makes it possible for connect transaction data between two merchants. On the strength of that capacity merchants can build digital rewards and acquisition programs online or in-app — and then seamlessly and rather effortlessly deliver them to Visa customers.

“Visa cardholders receive these benefits seamlessly by simply using their Visa cards to make purchases. No coupons or codes are required,” Scharf noted.

Those customers, in turn, can access those benefits without carrying around stack of coupons, or a digital cornucopia of discount codes. Participation in the program for consumer is voluntary. Cardholders must give consent to be tracked by the system, but once agreed to the unified platform can both track consumer behavior and distribute rewards when appropriate.

For example, tests of the program in Boston in December saw regular Uber riders get a discounted fare when they used their Visa to pay at Shake Shack. Consumers didn’t do anything to access those discounts; once the card was swiped, they merely appeared in their Uber account.

“Participating in this program was seamless. Guests could receive their perks without the need to change how they pay at the counter and because all of the rewards happened on the backend, it was a great activation without the need to train team members,” said Laura Enoch, senior marketing manager of Shake Shack.

Beyond the initial trial, Uber is now rolling out Visa Commerce Market to select users in 10 cities nationwide. Those who enroll in the offer will earn discounted rides and automatically be entered to win an all-expense paid trip to San Francisco for the “Big Game” (that we don’t like to talk much about here in Boston this year) on Feb. 7 if they use their Visa card at any local grocery store.

“We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and offer unique local experiences,” said David Richter, Uber’s vice president of strategic initiatives. “We’re excited to partner with Visa on this initiative.”

“This is a service where everyone benefits,” said Ramon Martin, global head, merchant sales and solutions, Visa Inc. “Visa cardholders get access to great offers that don’t require any changes to how they pay, while merchants can acquire new customers and increase sales. By coupling the power of Visa’s payment network with our merchant partners, we are unleashing value for businesses, issuers and consumers alike.”


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