Visa Account Updater -- What's New?

Visa Employee

The VAU Suite

While a cardholder can count on a card for several years (unless misplaced or lost), the inevitable expiration causes a need to update all merchants and services that store the card’s information.  Additionally, sometimes a card is replaced and its number changes.    Either event can create authorization failures;  and payments associated with the old card may then go unpaid or a purchase could be declined.


Visa has created the Visa Account Updater (VAU) to solve these types of problems with expiration dates for consumers and merchants.  VAU provides cardholders a single credential for life, allowing businesses the ability to securely update card information across subscription services in real time.  When a merchant submits a payment, Real Time VAU securely checks for the latest card details in order to transact the payment request with the latest card details.   Authorization declines and lost sales are then averted.  Customers experience a frictionless payment transaction.


Real Time VAU is available for use by Issuer Banks, Acquirer Banks and Issuer Banks for Small Business has been launched in North America, Latin America, Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and recently, as of November 2023, is now launched in Asia Pacific. 


In order to create this product, Visa partners with payment gateways and acquirers to enable secure exchange of account information updates to create a more seamless payment process.  This benefits businesses by reducing the number of resources needed to resolve payment issues (allowing those resources to refocus on needs of the business) and by retaining cardholders who can maintain payment relationships with merchants.  A key feature is that VAU supports multiple channels:  Batch, API, ISO 0302 for Issuers and Batch, API and Real Time VAU for Acquirers.




APIs Available in the VAU Suite

There are two new APIs included in the VAU suite that we will highlight.


Visa Account Updater Acquirer API

Launched July 2022, the Acquirer API and provides another option for acquirers who want to retrieve updated account credentials, in addition to VAU file processing and Real Time VAU. The Acquirer API creates a web service that is secure, scalable and high performing.  It allows acquirers and processors to submit VAU inquiries on demand and receive real time responses with up-to-date customer credential information from the VAU database on behalf of their enrolled merchants. Click here to learn more.


Visa Account Updater Issuer Stop Advice API

Launched in July 2023, the Issuer Stop Advice API allows VAU issuers to place cardholder level Stop Advice at a merchant level and prevent updates from being shared with specific merchants.  These issuers can block an automatic VAU update to a merchant, for example, if fraud is reported, yet allow authorized transactions with that merchant by the cardholder. Note that VAU Issuer Stop Advice is different from the Visa Stop Payment Service because Stop Advice only blocks automatic credential updates.  Stop Advice is designed  to add the ability to help integrate issuer web-based applications and avoid manual stop advices using the VAU application on Visa On-Line.  The VAU Issuer Stop Advice API is  for issuers and processors that are already sending credential updates to VAU. Click here to learn more.


In Summary

VAU is a solution for  out-of-date consumer details on file where transactions can be declined which may impact customers and merchants.  This Visa solution enables credential-on-file merchants to securely access updated account information.  For customers, it alleviates frustration with credit card payments, update time delays, late fees for declined payments and potential for service delay or cancellation.  Card issuers are able to maintain their place at top of wallet, simplify change management and know that updates are shared with the Visa Token Vault. Merchants maintain customers, protect revenue and decrease costs. Acquirers benefit by offering a valuable service that strengthens merchant relationships.


If you would like to learn more about starting your project, please reach out to your Visa AE.


Blog Written by guest contributor Carolyn Darity


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