Building upon its global network for domestic and cross-border payments to businesses and consumers, Visa is expanding Visa Direct in Canada. Peoples Payment Solutions — working with TELUS Health and Payment Solutions — will be among the first companies in the country to implement Visa Direct’s capabilities to enable real-time payments, Visa said in an announcement.
Brian Weiner, VP and head of Product, Visa Canada, said the expansion is an important milestone in the company’s mission to transform how consumers and businesses around the world pay each other.
“Companies like Peoples Payment Solutions and TELUS Health and Payment Solutions are helping us modernize payments in industries like healthcare and insurance by creating a faster and more seamless payment experience for their customers,” Weiner said in the announcement. “Visa Direct is changing the way we use cards by reimagining payments for the digital age.”
Fund disbursements represent a major market in Canada. According to recent research by the Aite Group, fund disbursements to consumers and small businesses are an approximately CAD $1.1 trillion opportunity. The study also found that 62 percent of consumers and 96 percent of merchants would likely opt in for a real-time payment method if that option was available.
Once in market, Peoples Payment Solutions and TELUS’ Health Benefits Management platform, powered by Visa Direct, will enable push payments directly into a customer’s Visa debit account in real time. Visa said the feature will significantly speed up fund disbursements for patients who are, for example, submitting benefit claims from healthcare professionals, shortening the time to instant reimbursement versus waiting several days to a week for payout.
“Working with innovative companies like Visa and Peoples Payment Solutions allows us to lead the way in providing an even better, faster benefit claims experience for our insurance partners and, ultimately, plan members,” Luc Vilandré, VP and COO, TELUS Health and Payment Solutions, said in the announcement. “Leveraging the power of real-time technology to disburse funds instantly is far more efficient for patients and removes an unnecessary layer of complexity, enhancing the overall benefits experience.”
In addition, Visa Direct enables businesses to pay freelancers, contractors and other small businesses in real time. The platform also allows for business-to-consumer payments and person-to-person payments, which has been live in the Canadian market since 2013. Beyond Canada, the Visa Direct platform is currently available in more than 200 markets around the world.