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How we pay for things is fundamentally changing. You may have noticed this if you go into a store and pay for an item using an app on your phone, or by waving your smartwatch at a console.  Suddenly, handing over cash or a credit card seems a bit old-fashioned – people want to be able to pay for things whenever, wherever, without a great deal of fuss.

Visa has announced it will be opening its payment processing platform to third-party developers. This makes life easier for app developers to incorporate Visa seamlessly into any payment system they’d want to develop, and because nearly everyone in the western world has a Visa card, it opens up payment processing to a larger customer base, which is attractive to app developers.

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And it also means that developers are going to come up with increasingly interesting and innovative ways to incorporate payment into various connected devices and systems. Payments are only the beginning. Visa is opening up APIs into its localization, foreign exchange, and tokenization systems, offering a variety of options to create services.

Visa’s exposing its services as APIs exemplifies our vision of a composable enterprise – a company that is creating opportunities for innovation and additional revenue streams by making its services available to anyone who might like to use them in new and interesting ways. Not only have they recognized the transformative changes happening within the financial industry, they are actually responding to those changes in a dynamic and agile way.

On Saturday, March 12, 2016 Visa will be holding its 2nd Developer Challenge at SXSW in Austin, TX, where startups will pitch solutions leveraging Visa’s APIs. It’ll be interesting to see where Visa’s developer program takes them and the experiences that will emerge.   For more about Visa’s approach to APIs, take a look at this video on “What is an API” that we created together.