Payments giant Visa Europe has had its communications network upgraded by telecoms giant BT, in a move that BT claims has enabled the firm to process about €2m of payments every minute.
The network provides connectivity for Visa Europe's card authorisation, clearing and settlement services. It also links more than 350 member sites from 37 European countries.
Visa Europe's upgraded solution will provide the payment giants' corporate offices with remote working, mobile, messaging and video conferencing tools.
The firm has signed a new five-year contract with BT, which will involve a range of services for Visa Europe's customers, employees and members including: IP telephony and unified communications tools, managed mobile support and remote access to Visa Europe's corporate network (through broadband and 3G), BT research into the future of payments, and a managed messaging service for customers of Visa Europe.
BT and Visa Europe have an existing relationship, having worked together over the past 12 years on developing a range of managed solutions for the payment vendor.
BT's communication network plays a key part in the payment giant's debit and credit card platform, which handled more than 14.3bn transactions totalling €1tr in the year up until June 2012.
Steve Chambers, CIO at Visa Europe, said: "Trust is very important to Visa Europe and to our customers. We work with providers that we can depend on to make sure our payments remain faster, smarter, convenient and secure."
"We choose to work with BT because we trust them to deliver on their promises. Their expansive global network supports our international connectivity needs and their focus on innovative technology and services aligns with our strategy."
Last year, Visa Europe's CTO, Adam Banks, told Computing that the firm runs its transaction systems on Unix-based software that had been running 24/7, 365 days a year for over five years.
"Three hundred transactions a second is the quietest we get. So we can never, ever turn ourselves off. Not even for maintenance or upgrade. So we have to replace everything on an almost weekly basis, without ever taking the system down. It's a bit like changing the engines on an aeroplane in flight," he said.