I have heard about Visa’s Accelerated Connection Platform (ACP) and recently saw the following press release from CenPOS, a payments technology VAR, touting their certification to ACP. The press release seems to suggest that this certification would allow a merchant to disintermediate a bankcard processor. This, however, is not completely the case. A Visa contact confirmed that a VAR like CenPOS would still need a link to a merchant acquirer to outclear or settle the direct Visa authorized transactions through the interchange system. Also, Visa’s marketing collateral seems to make this point clear. The goal of this program is to encourage transaction safety (using E2E and tokenized solutions) and allow Visa direct line of sight on certain transaction activity/data.
Visa has been definitely encroaching on territory traditionally served by acquirers through the acquisition of Cybersource and investment in Square. I suspect they will continue their march to be an increasing part of the payments value chain. However, Visa’s ACP program alone will not disintermediate merchant acquirers. Although this program sounds interesting, the tangible benefits that ACP offers to merchants are not clear. If we find case studies of this program, we’ll definitely share them with our community.