Portrait of woman using her smartphone

Improve Consumer Payment Experiences with Visa Alias Directory Service

By Serge Elkiner, Global Head of Product, Money Movement Solutions at Visa, 02/21/2023

Credit card numbers. Routing numbers. Account numbers. When it comes to getting money from point A to point B, sensitive personal information is often exchanged behind the scenes. Whether paying a friend, ordering takeout, or shopping through an online marketplace, consumers appreciate the simplicity and convenience of connected digital payments through third party apps and banking portals. But despite the ease, many still worry about safety when sharing their bank account credentials and other personal information online. 59% percent of surveyed consumers say trust in a financial institution’s ability to protect their assets is an important factor they consider when it comes to having their account credentials shared with another party, and 42% percent of surveyed consumers are concerned that fraud risks increase when third parties have access to their bank account credentials.¹

With the help of Visa’s alias enabled payment capabilities, consumers don’t have to choose between convenience and security. Visa Alias Directory Service offers capabilities for clients to link an identifier, such as mobile phone number and e-mail address, to a payment credential such as a card or bank account. With the help of Visa Alias Directory Service, clients can help people pay and be paid without exposing sensitive banking information.

Alias-based payments can benefit both consumers and the financial institutions that serve them

Enabling Visa Alias Directory Service can help create a better payment experience—and improve protection of privacy—for both the sender and the receiver for a variety of use cases, including P2P (peer-to-peer payments), loan disbursements, and cross border remittances.² For example, if a person in the U.S. wants to send money to a family member or friend in Mexico using his financial institution’s mobile payment app, a financial institution that has enabled Visa Alias Directory can help its customers verify that a person is sending money to the correct recipient without needing to know the recipient’s card, bank account, or routing number.

Additionally, Visa Alias Directory Service offers capabilities for banks and financial institutions to expand their reach by connecting to local and remote directories. With the help of Visa Directory Network Manager, it is possible for financial institutions to connect a phone number or email to a payment credential—either a bank account or card—stored in an external directory or directories. If an alias exists in multiple directories, a resolution engine can determine how to resolve it based on certain criteria like the recipient’s choice of a preferred credential. And because it’s cloud-based, the service can be deployed globally, which can help meet data localization requirements. Watch our video to learn more about how Directory Network Manager works.

Visa is removing barriers with global interoperability

Many of today’s alias directories are proprietary, local, and not interoperable. These closed-loop systems can slow or halt new payment flows. Visa Alias Directory can help bring innovation, flexibility, and scale to financial institutions. With Visa’s help, financial institutions can benefit from global interoperability between participating alias directories.

For example, YellowPepper, A Visa Solution, partnered with banks in Peru to launch PLIN, a mobile P2P transfer service that enables customers to transfer funds in real-time,³ free-of-charge using a recipient's phone number with Visa Alias Directory technology. The solution is currently being deployed by 8 banks, with over 9 million users registered in PLIN.

“With PLIN we are eliminating the barriers for moving money between banks and making people’s lives easier. YellowPepper, A Visa Solution, has been a key player in enabling real-time P2P payment interoperability between all financial institutions in the Peruvian market.”

Theo Sauvager, Director and Head of Digital Product and Design, Scotiabank Peru

Convenience, simplicity, flexibility, and continued innovation are the cornerstones of the Visa Alias Directory. Rather than being limited to a single directory, Visa Alias Directory clients around the world have access to an ever-evolving ecosystem of secure networks that help make an improved payments experience—for both financial institutions and people—possible.

Read more about Visa Alias Directory Service.

More Visa Direct blog posts

Read more from experts who discuss how Visa Direct can help meet expectations around global money movement and evolving digital payments.

Get in touch with our team

Reach out to learn more about Visa Direct.