Visa Europe Merchant Agent List is a very efficient way of pooling resources and streamlining the identification process of merchant agents in the international online payments arena. Where multiple acquirers might try to identify and work with individual merchant agents, sometimes with little success, the standing and reach of Visa Europe has enabled this program to become an important tool in the continued efforts to maintain a secure payment environment.
Ignacio González-Páramo, our Vice President, Global Compliance, talks about the webinar and the registration process of Payvision:
Given the benefits of being listed and its relevance for the payments industry as a whole, Visa Europe has developed a communication strategy which main goal is to increase the program’s awareness for merchants and agents across Europe, so as much agents as possible are attracted towards registration and, therefore, compliance. One of the key milestones of that strategy is the Webinars and Community Meetings that Visa Europe held lately in conjunction with main stakeholders, such as the PCI SSC Council and G2 Web Services. In those meetings, several relevant matters – details about the entire submission process, evaluation and acceptance of Visa Europe merchant agents – were raised and discussed by Visa staff and the attendees. From them, two facts that were raised deserve to be specifically mentioned.
On the one hand, although for the moment, there are just 140 listed agents, it is important to note that the ones registered account for a remarkable share of the transactions made by Visa Europe merchants. It is expected, however, that in the course of 2013, many more agents will be listed as validated. On the other hand, the webinar also offered an update on planned enhancements to the website for the near future. One such enhancement will be the re-launch of the website in additional languages such as French, German and Spanish, fact that will help local agents to have a better understanding of the benefits and implications of the program.
One of the most interesting insights is the regional differences in terms of registration per country: for instance, when comparing the number of French merchant agents with the British ones, one can see a considerable difference. While the UK can proudly display more than 80 agents, France has to date only 1. The main reason for this difference is certainly not that there are fewer companies in France that may be in scope, but more likely less awareness of the program. The re-launch of the website in French will certainly greatly contribute to entice more French merchant agents to begin and complete the registration process.
The registration process is very straightforward: an easy-to-use online tool for electronic registration requiring agents to share with Visa Europe (the data itself is not public) certain business data and information to identify themselves and attest their PCI DSS compliance status. The Merchant Agent obtains its own login credentials which allow it then to also update any information at any time there is a change. Once per year, agents will be requested to update and revalidate their information (registration renewal) to ensure that their registration and their compliance status are always up to date and relevant. The Merchant Agent is fully in control.
The amount of data merchant agents have to provide depends on several factors, such as the services they actually do provide, their business model, and most importantly, their PCI DSS compliance status. The more diverse the services are the more items they have to declare. For instance, for Payvision’s registration it took us less than 1 day, but depending on the complexity of your organization and your services it may take you more or much less time. If an agent doesn’t meet the requirements, Visa Europe consultants will guide him or her through the process in order to achieve listed status.
Ignacio González-Páramo, our Vice President Compliance – Spanish Version:
Payvision was listed on Visa Europe Merchant Agent List in January 2013.