Visa has finally managed to put the final piece of its payment network puzzle in place with the buyout of the bank owned payment cooperative Visa Europe. Back in early Visa was a payments processor that was owned worldwide by various banks which ensured that no one bank’s interest dominated the payments network to ensure a fair playing field.
Then in 2007 Visa Inc was created by buying out all the banks stake in the network but Visa Europe never joined the party. Now finally the long standing demand of having a unified payments processor will be met and will also help in better competing with MasterCard.
That being said I do not see any big benefits for the end customer in the near term although in long term I see the payments giant trying to force higher margins on the banks which may end up reflecting as higher costs for consumers. That being said its just too early to tell how this whole story will shape up. For now let’s just hope it makes life easier for all global Visa cardholders who travel to Europe.