Leveraging Visa Developer APIs for Subscription Payments

Visa Employee

Subscription-based business models are on the rise, presenting both challenges and opportunities for developers tasked with building robust payment systems. To address these needs, Visa Developer Platform offers a suite of powerful APIs tailored specifically for viewing and managing subscription payments. In this guide, we'll delve into three key Visa Developer products—Visa Subscription Manager, Visa Card on File Inquiry, and Visa Stop Payment Service—and explore the APIs they offer, along with detailed insights into their functionality and implementation. 


Visa Subscription Manager: Empowering Cardholders to Manage Their Recurring Payments 

Visa Subscription Manager allows issuers to offer cardholders self-serve capabilities for managing their recurring subscription payments through their mobile application. Cardholders can review transactions with merchants that have stored their credentials, as well as pause, stop, or restart their recurring/installment payments. Key potential benefits of Visa Subscription Manager Include: 

  1. Providing cardholders more transparency into and control over their recurring payments 
  2. Reduce cardholder chargebacks, charge-offs, and call center volumes 
  3. Give issuers and acquirers access to monitoring and reporting tools for stop instructions 

In addition to Visa Subscription Manager APIs, Visa also will soon offer an easy-to-integrate SDK solution through the Visa Digital Enablement SDK.  


Visa Stop Payment Service: Empowering Control Over Stop Payments 

Visa Stop Payment Service (VSPS) gives issuers the ability to create stop instructions, which are used to stop unwanted online payments from being authorized, cleared, and settled through VisaNet.  

Issuers can also use VSPS to create cardholder mobile experiences, customized based on the management capabilities and features they want to offer clients. These include allowing cardholders to stop or restart subscription payments. 

Key potential benefits of Visa Stop Payment Service Include: 

  1. Creating multiple types of precise stop payment instructions that can include specified start/end dates, merchant identifiers, and matching information for fine tuning. 
  2. Improving stop payment accuracy  
  3. Modernizing stop payments by expanding mobile banking capabilities and integrating new types of solutions 


Visa Card on File Data Inquiry: Viewing Stored Payment Information with Ease 

Card on File Inquiry is an API that can be used by issuers to identify which merchants store card information and retrieve details such as merchant names, merchant category codes, # of transactions (on Visa) in last 13 months, PAN/Token credentials update flag/date, token requestor ID, and last transaction date.  


Visa flags transactions as “card on file” based on identification of tokenized PANs, transactions initiated with Point of Sale Entry Mode (PEM) 10, initiated recurring/bill pay transactions, and Visa Account Updater card updates. 

When combined with the VSPS APIs, issuers can provide their cardholders with custom-built subscription management capabilities to manage payments for COF recurring payments returned by the COF API. 


Choosing the Right Visa Developer Product 

Since these three products have some shared capabilities, it is important to determine which Visa subscription management solution would work best for your use case. 


For issuers looking for an enhanced solution that provides detailed information about the merchants with whom their cardholders may have cards stored and allows the cardholder to manage payments at those merchants, the Card On File Data Inquiry API along with the Visa Stop Payment Service API is a great option.  


If you are interested in creating a mobile experience for your cardholders, there are several API implementation options, depending on your needs. Visa Subscription Manager is an excellent choice if you are interested in giving cardholders the ability to see where their cards are stored and stop unwanted transactions at specific merchants permanently or pause recurring payments for a preset duration. 


If you are looking for a more flexible solution that provides cardholders maximum control, Visa Stop Payments Service can be used to build a customized mobile solution, choosing from a set of 11 APIs. If you want to give cardholders expanded capabilities such as searching, retrieving, extending, and updating stop instructions, this solution may be a good fit for you. Irrespective of the implementation option you chose, VSPS also offers issuers the ability to monitor their stop payment performance through the VSPS user interface tool available on Visa Online. 


In some markets, it is possible to offer third party cancellation services alongside the Visa Stop Payment Service. These can help cancel merchant subscriptions, services or memberships associated with these payments. Clients opting for third party services may not need to integrate with VSPS APIs, as they may be able to access VSPS functionalities through integrations with third party service providers.  Please note that these services are independent of Visa's services and Visa does not have insight into or control over them. 


For more information about our products and to make sure you find the best Visa solution for you, please reach out to your sales representative or email developer@visa.com  


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