Third Party Agent Program

Many Visa® members and merchants rely on third party agents (TPAs) to increase their growth and revenue opportunities with minimal cost. This growth has led some financial institutions to shift operational responsibility for various functions to their agents. Often, this is accompanied by a shift of liability for losses as well. From a member perspective, a well-controlled third party agent relationship can reduce the possibility of bank failure, minimize risk of loss to the payment system, and protect the goodwill of the Visa brand.

A third party agent performs multiple functions on the issuing and acquiring side of a Visa member's business and is generally defined as an entity that is not connected to VisaNet and provides payment-related services (directly or indirectly) to a Visa member, merchant or agent. Some agents store, process or transmit Visa account numbers.

Visa® members must ensure that all third party agents are registered with Visa as outlined in the Visa Rules. Merchants must ensure the service providers they use are registered by their Visa acquirer. Registration must be received by Visa via the Visa Membership Management (VMM) application. This online tool serves as the central location where issuers and acquirers can register third-party agents and manage their relationships with these entities.

For Members and Merchants >
The Agent Registration Program is a Visa-mandated program enacted to ensure that Visa members are in compliance with Visa Rules.

Registration and PCI DSS
Compliance >

Find more information about the registration process and PCI DSS compliance here.

For Third Party Agents >
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). Find more information about the Third Party Agent program here.


Recent TPA News

New! Merchant Service Self-Identification Program Announced (MSSIP)

The MSSIP allows Merchant Servicer (MS) agents to easily provide their business information, merchant information and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance validation documentation directly to Visa. In turn, Visa can assist in identifying the merchant’s acquiring bank and facilitate the acquirer’s registration of the MS with Visa.

Click here to review the announcement
Click here for the MSSIP brochure
Click here to review the MSSIP FAQ

New! Visa Introduces Enhanced PCI DSS Enforcement Plan

Noncompliance assessments will begin 1 January 2015 for noncompliant or overdue service providers without a remediation plan. By complying with the PCI DSS, Visa clients, merchants and service providers not only meet their obligations to the payment system, but also helps to protect themselves against security breaches, enhance consumer confidence, and secure the integrity of the overall Visa payment system. Click here to review the announcement.

New! Updated Third Party Agent Due Diligence Risk Standards document now available

Click here to access the recently updated Third Party Agent Due Diligence Risk Standards Document.

Please note all Visa members must register their relationship with Third Party Agents regardless of whether the Third Party Agent is listed on Visa’s Registries of Service Providers.