Which Visa Europe Agent Are You?

Or, where do I register with Visa Europe once I’ve received my completed ROC?

So you’re a service provider, you’ve been assessed by a QSA, and now you want some recognition in the form of a public listing on Visa Europe’s list of compliant service providers, or on the new Visa merchant agent listing web site.

But which route is appropriate?

The first thing to know is that Visa Europe classifies service providers as “agents”. An agent is further classified as follows:

  1. A member agent, providing services directly to a Visa Europe Member (who would be an acquiring bank or other payment processor, for example). Such services might include statement printing, card personalisation, or payment acquiring.
  2. A merchant agent, providing services directly to merchants. These services might include payment page hosting, web hosting or call centre services.

Most service providers will fit broadly in to one of the above categories. However, if you’re offering both member and merchant services, then you’re both a member agent and a merchant agent. All of your services will have been assessed, and you can therefore register as both a member and a merchant agent.

A reminder too, that this discussion relates to Visa Europe only. The same may apply to other Visa organisations, but I can’t confirm that. Secondly, other card brands such as Mastercard have different terminology and registration processes.

Now you know what kind of agent you are, how do you register?

  1. Member agents. To register, speak with your client and get in touch with the person responsible for card brand liaison. Your client should be able to sponsor you as a member agent by submittring a form to Visa Europe. Once sponsorship is in place, ask your QSA to submit your ROC, AOC and Attestation of Scope (the QSA will have this) to Visa Europe. Once the documents are accepted, you’ll be included within the PDF on the Visa Europe web site.
  2. Merchant agents. Register your details at the merchant agents registration web site. You’ll need your ROC, your signed AOC and a signed Attestation of Scope document from your QSA. Complete the on-line registration details, accept the T & C’s, and upload your documents. All being well, your details will appear on the merchant agent listing web site shortly thereafter. Note that Visa Europe may charge you for listing.

I hope that’s clarified things for you as a service provider. In the past, with only one way for service providers to be listed (on the Visa Europe PDF document), there was confusion when attempting to find a Visa Member to sponsor merchant agent service providers. In these cases, no member/agent relationship was in place, making it difficult if not impossible for many organisations to make themselves known to Visa Europe.

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