Dear Shareholders, Over the last 12 months, Visa made tremendous progress leading a dynamic industry and advancing the growth of digital payments globally. Against a backdrop of geopolitical challenges and uneven global economic conditions, Visa delivered outstanding financial and operating results.

Visa is not only a facilitator of payments between consumers and businesses. With new ways to pay, we are evolving into a company that enables money movement for everyone, everywhere. In fiscal year 2019, we made significant strides in advancing our goal to be a single connection point for initiating any transaction, both on the Visa network and beyond.

In this year’s letter, I highlight the factors that drove our strong results and the strategies we put in place to secure our long-term success, including:

Visa has a rich legacy of aligning our business and our purpose, and that is more relevant now than at any time in our 60-plus year history. Our investments and partnerships have always focused on ensuring we drive shareholder value while delivering inclusive societal value. We strongly support the increased focus on purpose among business leaders. That is why we were proud to sign the Business Roundtable revised Statement of Purpose in August.

Of course, Visa is a global enterprise and we are working towards building an economy that serves everyone across the world. We do this by investing in our employees and the communities where they live, operating responsibly and ethically, and focusing on driving unparalleled value to our clients.

Most importantly, we advance societal goals through our core business — the digitization of money.

As part of the World Bank’s goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020, we committed to helping provide financial access to 500 million consumers by 2020. At the end of fiscal year 2018, we reached 396 million consumers worldwide with first-time access to a digital payment product through a Visa-branded account and are confident we will make our 500 million commitment by the end of the 2019 calendar year.

Later in this letter, I outline the other steps we are taking to advance Visa’s mission and operate as a responsible corporate citizen.

Growing Our Core Business

Consumer expectations are increasing by the day. To respond, Visa continues to improve the point-of-sale experience, ensuring digital payments are easier, secure, more seamless, and more readily available for buyers and sellers, whether they are transacting in person or online.

Tap to Pay

Tap to pay is a powerful technology that accelerates our efforts to move the $17 trillion of global consumer spending done in cash and check to our network. Outside the U.S., tap to pay now represents more than 50 percent of face-to-face transactions that run over our network, up from less than 30 percent just two years ago. For a number of reasons, the U.S. has lagged behind most developed countries in adopting tap to pay. During the year, we made great strides in deploying the technology in the U.S. There are now over 100 million Visa contactless cards in the U.S. and more than 80 out of Visa’s top 100 merchants in the U.S. have enabled customers to tap to pay at checkout.

Transit continues to be a compelling use case to turn consumers on to tapping as riding public transportation to and from work, home or school is a critical part of daily life. In London, where tap to pay has been live for more than four years, transit users tap to pay significantly more than non-transit users. The New York MTA pilot on select subway and bus lines that launched this year has already reached two million taps. Based on these encouraging early results, we expect transit tap to pay adoption to move quickly in the U.S. in the coming years.

Outside the U.S., tap to pay represents more than 50% of face-to-face transactions


Digital commerce growth is outpacing physical retail growth, presenting an opportunity to evolve both the security and consumer experience around ecommerce. In fiscal year 2019, we continued the successful implementation of our Visa Token Service, and the service is now live in 100 markets, with 410 million tokens issued to date. The technology works by replacing a consumer’s card-related sensitive information, such as personal account number, with a unique identifier, or token, which protects transactions when a card or shopper is not physically present. Today, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Netflix and Samsung Pay use Visa Token Service. The combination of Visa’s network tokenization functionality with the local and account tokenization capabilities we acquired from Rambus Inc. will facilitate safer, more secure payments across a broader range of payment types.

While online and mobile commerce continues to thrive, the many checkout buttons on any given site make the consumer experience confusing, and difficult for merchants to implement and manage. In the latter part of fiscal year 2019, Visa, alongside the other major networks, continued the roll-out of click to pay, enabled by Secure Remote Commerce (SRC). The goal was to help address this problem and transform the ecommerce checkout experience to emulate what we did in the face-to-face environment years ago by having just one terminal for all payment options. SRC establishes a standardized way to make card payments across web and mobile sites, mobile apps and connected devices for the first time. In October, we went live with select U.S. merchants and expect a full commercial launch in the U.S. in early calendar year 2020.

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Expanding Partnerships

Partnerships are fundamental to Visa’s business model. We are building new relationships with emerging players such as digital banks, wallets and a range of fintechs, while deepening our engagement with our existing financial institution and merchant partners. We rolled out our Visa Fintech Fast Track program globally to provide emerging partners with the tools they need to more easily scale and leverage Visa’s reach, capabilities and security. Additionally, the new Visa Partner Portal provides comprehensive services and resources — including access to Visa application programming interfaces (APIs) — to help fintechs, and all of our ecosystem partners, bring new ways to pay to life.

We are already seeing strong results around the world, including a new agreement with Revolut that enables this leading global fintech to expand its business to five regions, reaching 24 new countries. In Southeast Asia, we have partnered with and invested in Gojek, a mobile super-app, featuring more than 20 different verticals, spanning payments, food delivery, ride-hailing, laundry, courier services, tickets and more.

With regards to our more traditional partnerships, we extended our long-standing relationships with J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and BBVA, among others. We continue to lead in the co-branded card category, where 13 of the world’s top 20 co-brand cards are Visa cards.

The Visa Partner Portal helps fintechs bring new ways to pay to life

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Opening New Payment Flows

In fiscal year 2019, we challenged ourselves to unlock a tremendous opportunity that exists beyond consumer to business (C2B) physical card payments and beyond our proprietary network. In doing so, we are establishing a strong platform for growth, positioning Visa as the network of choice for any type of payment from anyone to anywhere, including person to person (P2P), business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) and government to consumer (G2C).

The Visa Developer Platform enables partners to build new services and capabilities

Visa Direct

Visa Direct is our platform for “pushing” payments directly to a bank account or card, often in near real-time. The platform’s capabilities open our network to power entirely new types of payment flows, from on-demand gig economy wages and cross-border remittances to insurance disbursements. In fiscal year 2019, these push transactions drove the growth of Visa Direct to more than 100 percent.

In many cases, the work we are doing with clients and partners is updating outdated and time-consuming processes that offer tangible benefits to everyone. For example, Visa is working with PNC Bank and Erie Insurance to let their customers choose to have an electronic claims payment delivered to their bank account in real-time, and InsurPAY by Invenger Technologies is enabling real-time funds disbursements for American Family Insurance.

In the U.S., Apple launched Visa Direct within the Apple Cash P2P service, and Visa Direct now powers seven of the major P2P players in the U.S. We signed partnership agreements with global leaders in cross-border and cross-currency money movement, including EMQ, Moneygram, Remitly, and Western Union, as well as Cielo, the largest acquirer in Latin America now using Visa’s network.

In fiscal year 2019, Visa Direct transactions grew more than 100% year-over-year


This year, we acquired Earthport, a strategic acquisition that expands the reach of Visa. Earthport operates the largest independent Account Clearing House (ACH) network in the world, enabling Visa to reach 99 percent of the world’s banked population in 88 countries, including the top 50. Earthport not only significantly increases our reach, it also delivers a simplified and more cost-effective cross-border payment and money movement experience to consumers and small businesses. The acquisition of Earthport is a good example of how we are expanding our business into new payment types beyond our traditional network.

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Enhancing Our Value-Added Services

Visa has near limitless opportunities to diversify our revenue streams by expanding the capabilities of our existing network and extending our solutions to support a broad range of payments brands and partners.

Fraud Management and Security Services

Visa is constantly looking at ways to add more robust fraud and risk management capabilities that we can extend to our clients and their customers. Over the past year alone, we helped financial institutions prevent an estimated $25 billion in fraud using our artificial intelligence (AI)-powered risk scoring engine. Our Visa Advanced Authorization (VAA) platform uses AI and machine learning to evaluate 500 risk attributes in each authorization request, in real time. Today, more than 8,000 issuers in 129 countries receive VAA scores to help reduce fraudulent transactions.

Merchant and Acquirer Solutions

As the in-person and online commerce experience continues to converge, Visa is increasingly focused on offering omni-channel solutions for the benefit of consumers and merchants alike. CyberSource enables Visa to offer merchants a one-stop technology solution for accepting payments. In fiscal year 2019, we acquired Payworks, a cloud-based software provider that brings in-store payment processing to CyberSource’s ecommerce payment platform to create a fully integrated payment acceptance solution.

Visa also acquired Verifi, a company that enables disputes to be resolved quickly by connecting issuers to more than 25,000 merchant connections immediately when an account holder calls with an issue. This tool reduces costs and friction for all stakeholders if there is a disputed transaction.

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Strengthening our Foundation

Security and Privacy

Visa has, for more than 60 years, placed the highest priority on security and privacy — both outside and inside our own network. For example, Visa uses AI and deep learning technology to monitor our network and understand the threats aimed at our company. Our platform collects billions of security logs each day, providing insight across the network and within our infrastructure. We combine this data with external intelligence on attacks observed outside of our data centers and network.

For more than 60 years, Visa has placed the highest priority on security and privacy


The Visa brand is one of our most critical and valuable assets, driving consumer preference and delivering added revenue for our clients and partners. We continue to invest, grow and evolve our brand. We were the first payment network to use sensory branding — sound, animation and haptic vibration cues that provide assurances that a completed transaction is a secure one. To date, we have implemented sensory branding at more than 1 million points-of-sale in 25 countries. Sensory branding will become increasingly important as we continue to evolve to a digital-first world.

Sponsorships are a cornerstone of our brand and relationship-building strategy. In fiscal year 2019, we renewed our 25-year relationship with the NFL and continued our sponsorship of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Visa is the only brand in the world that is a major sponsor of these properties, and is also the largest sponsor of women’s football in the world. The sponsorships are not only a great way to build our business, they are an ideal showcase for Visa innovations across the world. This opportunity will be on full display at the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, where we will use our brand and technology to bring Japan’s vision for the future of digital payments to life.

To date, we have implemented our sensory branding at more than 1 million points-of-sale in 25 countries


Since I became CEO of Visa three years ago, I have been consistently impressed by the quality, dedication and clear sense of purpose that everyone at the organization shares. We believe in investing in our people and providing all 19,500 of our employees with best-in-class benefits, compensation and training, ensuring everyone has the resources they need to be successful. Our U.S. retirement plan is in the 90th percentile for high-tech public companies, and we double employee contributions up to five percent of their salary. Critically, we are fully committed to wage equality, regardless of gender, ethnicity or race.

Visa is one of more than 350 companies and organizations that signed the White House Pledge to America’s Workers — a promise to expand programs that educate, train and reskill more than 13.8 million students and workers. Specifically, over the next five years, Visa pledged to create enhanced career opportunities for 14,500 individuals. We are making great progress on fulfilling our pledge, including hosting our first-ever global Visa Learning Festival, which resulted in 3,000 Visa employees completing more than 10,000 hours of learning.

We are fully committed to wage equality, regardless of gender, ethnicity or race

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Driving Purpose with Impact

At the heart of Visa’s mission to enable individuals, businesses and economies to thrive is a commitment to deliver tangible societal value. Beyond the measurable benefits the migration to digital payments brings, Visa is investing considerable resources to make a positive impact in the world.

In fiscal year 2019, we continued our focus on women’s empowerment by educating female consumers on financial issues and providing women entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to succeed. In January 2019, we launched She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, which connects women business owners to their communities, funding options and payment technologies through workshops, training and mentorship. To date, Visa has signed up and hosted women entrepreneurs at workshops across North America, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

In addition, Visa is doing its part to address the consequences of climate change, both within our organization and beyond. Within Visa, we committed to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020 and are on track to meet that goal. We also helped launch Brands for Good as well as the sustainable travel-related Travalyst Initiative, and partnered on a 25-country “Healthy & Sustainable Living Study” to enhance our efforts to inspire and empower sustainable living for all.

We complement all of our efforts by empowering all of our employees to give back to their local communities through donations of time, talent and funds. We accomplish this through our matching gifts program, providing volunteer time off and Visa-organized team volunteer opportunities. In fiscal year 2019, approximately 4,000 Visa employees reported volunteering collectively almost 40,000 hours in their community, with a quarter of those taking advantage of the 16 hours of volunteer time off that Visa offers.

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Leading through Change

The history of Visa is one of continuous progress and growth, and fiscal year 2019 was no exception. To that end, I want to pay tribute to someone who helped shaped Visa for the last decade. Ellen Richey, who left Visa during the past year, is an extraordinary individual who served Visa for nearly 12 years, most recently as Vice Chairman of Risk and Public Policy. I wish her all the best in her next endeavors. I am pleased that Vasant Prabhu, our Chief Financial Officer, has stepped in to assume the role of Vice Chairman, and Paul D. Fabara has joined to fill the important position of Chief Risk Officer. Paul brings a wealth of experience to his role, most recently at American Express.

Visa has a rich legacy of aligning our business and our purpose

Finally, in light of their many contributions and the key role technology and product plays in the organization, Rajat Taneja was named President, Technology, and our Chief Product Officer, Jack Forestell, was promoted to Executive Vice President and joined our Executive Committee.

I want to end by thanking all of our stakeholders — clients, partners, shareholders, regulators and employees. Over the past year, we evolved our corporate strategy to lend greater focus, direction and agility to our culture to pursue growth. I am proud of the team and the results we delivered. However, even with all of our success, I challenge myself, and the entire organization, to think and work differently every day. Complacency is unacceptable. Only by pushing ourselves to innovate and disrupt will we continue to grow, ensuring Visa remains at the center of money movement globally and the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone, everywhere.

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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