Vizant is a business intelligence and thought leadership firm with a specialty expertise in the areas of financial operations, treasury management and inbound and outbound business payments. Vizant partners with its clients to implement actionable and real world solutions that improve efficiencies and reduce the structural costs of financial operations, treasury management and business payment functions. Vizant’s business model is truly unique and it stands alone in the world of financial and professional services firms. We stand behind our solutions with a 100% performance based fee model that clearly validates our expertise.

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Brief Overview

Technical Know-How Payment Cards

Vizant’s reputation as the premier thought leader with industry-leading vision into the ecosystem of the payments industry has been built over many years

Vizant has been the premier thought leader and the only independent advisor in the Payment Card industry (Credit, Debit, & Prepaid cards) for many years. The payment card industry is vast and comprises thousands of service providers. Yet, Vizant is the only advisory services provider working solely for the business interests of AND is 100% dedicated to partnering with organizations that accept payment cards as a form of payment.

A “payment card” refers to and is descriptive of many different types of cards used to exchange monetary value

The term payment card may indicate the type of card, card brand, card network, card issuing bank or card issuing bank partner. A payment card is generally classified as a consumer card or commercial (business) card. Payment cards include credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, healthcare cards, government -issued cards, private label cards and other types of cards.

Payment cards are issued by thousands of financial institutions in the United States alone. The use of payment cards has risen annually for the past five years and is expected to rise every year for the next five years.

Last year, total dollars charged and expended for goods and services on all types of consumer and commercial credit, debit and prepaid cards was $5.3 trillion. On a global basis, total dollars passing through payment cards was $24 trillion in 2014. Even with the evolution of new, non-card based payment methods and new payment systems, this figure is expected to rise to nearly $7 trillion in the United States by 2017.

The players in the payment card industry are numerous and often operate behind the scenes

The types of companies in the industry include the following: card networks, card issuing banks, card processors (merchant acquirers), card brands, payment software companies, card processing resellers, card equipment manufacturers, payment gateways, mobile wallet applications and many other service providers. The most widely known players are also those that control and manipulate the payments ecosystem. They are the card networks — VISA®, MasterCard®, American Express®, and Discover® ALONG with the largest payment card issuing banks — Chase, Bank of America, American Express, Capital One, Citi and many others.

American Express® and Discover® operate without any intermediaries, often known as closed loop systems. They set their own rates and fees, without any third party involvement, which are generally higher than the other card networks.

VISA® and MasterCard® operate with intermediaries and are known as open loop systems. However, the term “open loop” to describe these systems is really a fallacy for this simple reason: MasterCard® and VISA® actually establish and control the rate and fee structure that is earned by their card issuing bank partners. Thus, you must be a member of the system, as a network member, to actually issue and earn interchange revenue from payment cards.

The service providers collaborate in the payment card system to set fees and rates

In simple terms, the card issuing banks may control the key relationship with the cardholder, but the card networks control the revenue and fee streams to those same banks. The payment card processors, acquirers and resellers work jointly with the card networks and card issuing banks in this very complex ecosystem. These processors are often owned by or are associated via some financial relationship or are in direct joint ventures with the card issuing banks and the card networks. This type of structure results in an inherently collusive, anti-competitive system.

In the payment card system, the fees are innumerable and the rate structure is labyrinthine

This interconnected, mutually dependent system of card networks, card issuing banks, card processors and others has been in place for a very long time for one very good reason: a convoluted and expensive fee structure that ensures multiple parties earn fees on every payment card transaction. Every time an organization accepts a payment card for a financial transaction, there are at least three service providers and generally four or five entities that take a portion of the fees incurred by the card accepting organization.

These voluminous fees come with ominous sounding names, odd nomenclature, and number well into the thousands. Also, most payment card service providers define or categorize them differently, often manipulating what are supposedly fixed and set system rates.

Vizant’s mission is to bring clarity, transparency, openness and competition to the payments industry

In a matrix of countless payment card service providers, it can be very difficult to control, manage and disintermediate payment card acceptance, payment card management and payment card processing costs.

The payment card industry service providers convey the message that they are dedicated to offering you the most efficient payment card environment and the lowest cost possible to accept all types and kinds of payment cards. In reality, the multitude of payment industry service providers derive such a range of different income streams via a range of different ways that the last item on their agenda is cost containment. Given this operating environment, the likelihood of any organization truly attaining the optimal and lowest possible payment cards costs structure is very low. The sheer magnitude and complexity of the fee structure is burdensome even for the most highly skilled payments and treasury professional.

Vizant’s team of professionals is dedicated exclusively to assisting our clients navigate a payments environment structured to innately work against their business interests. Vizant services as the payments industry watchdog and promotes openness and clarity. Our specialists work in all areas of the payment card system and provide unmatched insight, advocacy, best practices and cost efficiency services for the benefit of our clients, not the industry service providers.

We work diligently to analyze, review, manage and reduce every cost item embedded in the convoluted payment card cost structure that impacts your payments environment.

At Vizant, our mission is clear: to offer our clients unbiased and unmatched advice, whether it be offering perspectives and advice on a payment method, an electronic invoice software system, a mobile payment/mobile wallet application, an online “in-app buy” button, new fees or costs imposed by the payment card industry, and what any of these may mean for their payments operations. We always champion our clients’ best interests.

Vizant lives and breathes payments. It is what we are laser-focused on so that our clients can focus on their business and be confident they are operating in the most efficient manner possible.

In fact, we are the only entity in the United States that has been issued U.S. PATENTS around the tools, processes, and methods for analyzing, reviewing, managing, auditing and reducing payment card interchange costs, the largest fee component of every payment card transaction.

Our seven U.S. patents form the nucleus of our Intellectual Property (IP) and our proprietary payment card analyses and processes. The power of these patents is combined with our established analytical processes to identify both payment card transaction cost inefficiencies and efficiencies.

Again, the entire payment card ecosystem is designed to enable the payments industry to generate the maximum level of fees on every payment card transaction. Vizant’s unrivaled patents, analytical expertise and independent advocacy combines to provide a much needed counterbalance and winning formula for any organization accepting payment cards.

  • Altering Card-Issuer Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 7,603,312,B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Altering Card-Issuer Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,019,680 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,019,681 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Altering Card-Issuer Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,024,268 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Auditing or Determining Reductions to Card-Issuer Interchange Fees

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,078,531 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,244,634 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

  • Determination of Interchange Categories

    Official US Patent Number: US 8,301,559 B2

    The patent details can be found here.

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