Credit card company Visa announced this week the first international expansion of its data center footprint. Two new facilities will double the number of server farms the company operates, adding London and Singapore to its current data center locations in Virginia and Colorado.
As recently as a couple of years ago, Visa’s stated policy was to keep all data processing facilities within US borders, a policy that was evidently made obsolete when the company began its acquisition of Visa Europe in 2015. According to Visa, the completion of that deal in June 2016 began a multi-year process to combine the two companies into a single global organization with a shared technology platform, as it brings 3,200 European clients onto VisaNet — the company’s global transaction processing network.
The new London facility will be a retrofit of Visa Europe’s legacy data center in the UK. Visa says that when completed, the 10,000-square foot facility will bring increased resiliency for clients in the region and accelerate speed-to-market for new payment innovations in the European market.
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“The launch of our state-of-the-art data center in Europe is a critical milestone, enabling all our clients and partners to take advantage of Visa’s global technical resources and assets,” Bill Sheedy, CEO of Visa’s European operations, said in a statement.
The Singapore data center will also be a 10,000-square foot facility; it will represent the company’s first transaction processing center in Southeast Asia. According to Visa, it will serve clients, cardholders, and merchants both in the region and in Visa’s global network.
“As home to our Asia Pacific headquarters, Singapore is already a major hub for the Visa business,” said Chris Clark, a group executive of Visa’s Asia Pacific operations. “With our new processing facility in Singapore, we’re strengthening our ability to meet rising demand for digital payments, while driving the pace of payment innovation across the Asia Pacific region.”
The new data center in Singapore will be Visa’s third major investment in the Asian city-state in the last two years. In September, Visa launched at its Singapore headquarters the first international campus of Visa University — a purpose-built learning center with a “digital-at-the-core” curriculum.
Last year Visa introduced the Singapore Innovation Center as something of a think tank to bring together the company’s technologists with its clients, partners, and the Asia Pacific tech community “to develop the next big idea in payments.”
The upcoming Singapore data center is likely to support the infrastructure back-end for some of those big ideas.