Third Party Agents

The Third Party Agent Registration Program is a Visa-mandated program established to ensure that Visa members are in compliance with Visa International Operating Regulations (“Visa rules”) and policies regarding their use of Third Party Agents (TPAs). Visa members are required to perform due diligence reviews to ensure that they understand the TPA's business model, financial conditions, background and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance status. Agent registration is required for all entities providing solicitation activities, managed services and/or storing, processing or transmitting Visa account numbers for Visa members (or on behalf of their merchants).

A TPA can perform any or all of the functions described below. Note that an entity can do one or many of these functions and must be registered for each function that they participate in by each issuer / acquirer they are operating on behalf of.

Independent Sales Organizations (ISO)

  • Merchant or cardholder solicitation activities and / or customer service
  • Prepaid program solicitation activities and / or customer service
  • Deploying and / or servicing ATMs
  • High Risk Merchant solicitation, sales, customer service, merchant transaction solicitation and/or customer training for the following Merchant Category Codes (MCC): 5962, 5966, 5967, 7995, 5912, 5122.

Encryption Support Organizations (ESO)

  • Deploys ATM, POS or kiosk PIN acceptance devices that process and accept cardholder PINs and/or manage encryption keys

Third-Party Servicers (TPS)

  • Storing, processing or transmitting Visa account numbers on behalf of Visa members

Merchant Servicers (MS)

  • Storing, processing or transmitting Visa account numbers on behalf of Visa members’ acquired merchants

Corporate Franchise Servicers (CFS)

  • A CFS owns or operates a centralized or hosted network environment used by franchisees that can affect the franchisee’s cardholder data environment if accessed by unauthorized parties. In some cases CFS entities also provide card payment processing services to franchisees through these network environments.

    Corporate Franchise Servicer as a New Third Party Agent Category (PDF | 41kb)

Payment Service Providers (PSP)

High Risk Internet Payment Service Provider (HRIPSP)

  • Providing services to high risk internet merchants (Merchant Category Codes (MCC): 5967 and 7995) and stores, processes or transmits cardholder data and has a direct contract with the member

Distribution Channel Vendors (DCV)

  • Packaging, storing and shipping of non-personalized Visa products (e.g. warehouses, wholesalers, logistics companies)
    For more information please contact mgorski@visa.com.

Instant Card Personalization Issuance Agent (ICPIA)

  • Performs instant card personalization and issuance for the issuer, generally a retailer or kiosk location

    ** ICPIA employer or government managed programs are excluded from the agent registration requirement – however must comply with remaining requirements listed in the VIOR Agents section.
    For more information please contact mgorski@visa.com.

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)

  • Providing currency conversion services to sponsored merchants at checkout.
    For more information please contact DCCcompliance@visa.com.
Note that a TPA can do one or more of these functions, but they must register as such for each line of business by each issuer/acquirer they are operating on behalf of.


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