Visa Account Updater (VAU) enables the electronic exchange of updated account information among participating merchants, acquirers and Visa card issuers. Serving as an automated, dedicated and secure clearinghouse, VAU delivers updated cardholder account information in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner, benefiting acquirers, merchants, issuers and cardholders.
Issuers submit electronic updates to VAU when a cardholder's account information changes due to a product upgrade, a portfolio conversion, card expiration, loss or theft, account closure or other reasons, such as combining accounts after marriage. VAU handles any risk or unique privacy situations using a "contact cardholder" notice.
Through their acquirers, enrolled merchants submit inquiries regarding accounts with which they have ongoing relationships. VAU processes inquiries against its database and provides responses to the acquirer. Visa will only respond to specific data elements within an inquiry file from a preregistered merchant. Responses include account number or expiration date updates, closed account advices and contact cardholder advices. The acquirer forwards the responses to the requesting merchants, who must then update on-file accounts before requesting an authorization.
All VAU data is transmitted through a secure direct connection between the endpoint and Visa via Open File Delivery (a component of Visa's Direct Exchange) or the Visa File Exchange Service. VAU information is stored in a database inside Visa's firewall, and browsing access is not allowed.
Visa DPS' daily settlement with all external networks eliminates the need to track individual positions or varying cutoff times for each network.
Visa Account Updater delivers Issuers a number of benefits, including:
On average, 30 percent of accounts incur a change to an account number or expiration date, or they are closed every year. When cardholders are inconvenienced—especially by unpredictable changes such as product upgrades and lost or stolen card replacements—they may not update all of the merchants with whom they have ongoing relationships. Consequently, account–on–file merchants continue to bill using out–of–date information, resulting in declined transactions and extra costs. In addition, when they contact the cardholder for updated information, they run the risk of payment switching or service cancellation. VAU provides updated account information to merchants so that recurring transactions can continue without interruption.
Additional benefits include:
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