The upgrade of the existing IBM SNA (System Network Architecture) network to an IP-based system will allow Visa to roll out new services to its 5,700 European member banks.
The credit card provider's Visanet system processes up to 5,000 transactions per second and handles 35 billion transactions a year. IP technology will allow it to increase the number of transactions handled.
John Chaplin, executive vice-president at Visa EU, said, "The number of transactions going through Visanet increases by 15%-20% every year. The upgrade will not only future-proof our system in terms of processing capability and reliability but it will also mean we can roll out strategically important new Web-based services to our member banks."
BT will run IP network components alongside existing SNA technology at Visa's European member centres for one-month periods, as part of an implementation plan that began this week. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2003. BT will continue to manage the network until June 2005.