Visa Europe signs with BT for 21CN

Visa Europe has signed a five-year managed services contract with BT to migrate its transaction network onto the provider's 21st century (21CN) network for better service levels, support response times and security.

The agreement will move Visa Europe onto an internet protocol (IP) based network, so it can offer its 4,600 member banks in 36 countries more modern and efficient, future-proofed transactional network operational capabilities.

Visa Europe's card processing platform has been built specifically for the region, handling more than six billion transactions in 2007. It provides cross-border inter-bank switching, as well as primary domestic processor services in 16 European markets, where 11.4 per cent of consumers use a Visa card at point of sale.

Steve Chambers, Visa Europe chief information officer, said: "Visa Europe processed transactions worth 1.3 trillion [1 trillion] during 2007 so scalability and resilience go hand-in-hand for us. The trust of our customers is of paramount importance, and BT has given us the reliability, security and flexibility to successfully service our member banks and their customers going forward."

In October last year, it became independent of the global Visa corporation after gaining exclusive and perpetual financial licence in the region.

The deal also extends Visa Europe's seven-year relationship with BT. This latest commitment will see the payment processor use BT as its single supplier, to gain access to flexible network capabilities and facilitate more efficient technical upgrades and developments moving forward.

The announcement also comes only the day after BT announced it was investing 1.5 billion in its 21CN networks and two days after the first services were set to go live, following tests in Wales and Birmingham.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.