Visa opened the doors this week on a new 370,000 square foot global data processing center on the East Coast, designed to handle what the company says are increasingly complex electronic payments.

The data center features a new operating system called Z Transaction Processing Facility (z/TPF), developed in partnership with IBM. The new system allows more information to be manipulated at once and for more complex processing functions to be performed. Together, Visa says the system is capable of handling more than 10,000 transaction messages per second.

Visa says the extra processing power will also allow it deliver new information-intensive applications such as advanced fraud analysis, mobile payments, and new security enhancements.

“Few people recognize the critical role VisaNet [the company's global transaction processing network] plays in supporting our extensive brand acceptance, securing our products and facilitating payment innovation," Visa Chief Information Officer Mike Dreyer said in a statement announcing the center’s opening. “As we activate our second new data center in four years and complete a transition to the latest information technology, we are laying the foundation for the future of Visa payments and related services.”

Other than saying the new data center was located on the East Coast, the company did not reveal its location. The processing center joins a global processing network of four data centers on three continents, connecting some 16,000 financial institutions and millions of merchants. Visa says with the continued migration away from cash and checks towards electronic payments, the volume and complexity of Visa transactions are expedited to grow.

For the four quarters ended June 30, 2009, the dollar amount of electronic transactions processed by Visa was about $4.3 trillion.

IBM and Visa said the center and the new operating system were put through a stress test before going online designed to simulate transaction loads at the height of the holiday shopping season. The stress test, conducted in an IBM facility, confirmed that, as configured, the system has sufficient capacity to support the busiest day projected for the year, even if an entire data center were to go down.




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