Visa Developer Onboarding

When you are ready to launch your solution, the Visa Developer team will guide you through the onboarding workflow to help ensure that the end product meets our expectations before we provide access to our network.

Guiding Principles for Onboarding Acceptance

Visa Developer has three guiding principles for every application or service that utilizes our API products:

  1. First, while every client is ultimately responsible for their customer experience, your use case should demonstrate how your solution will improve the end-user experience. 
  2. Second, we expect your architecture to safeguard your customers’ information by complying with all applicable laws and regulations as well as Visa’s requirements. 
  3. Finally, we align on the expected API call volume to help ensure your implementation’s optimal performance. The processes discussed below have been designed to launch your solution as speedily as possible while simultaneously validating adherence to our principles.


Speaking of speed, the first question on nearly every client’s mind is: How long does VDP Onboarding generally take? While some projects can move to production in as little as two weeks, others may take multiple months. The length of time for VDP Onboarding depends primarily on the factors outlined below. 

Note: Every solution is unique, therefore a firm estimate for onboarding timing can only be provided after Visa understands your design and requirements.

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Sandbox Readiness

The most vital determinant of your onboarding timeline. The more complete your implementation is in our Sandbox environment (which is free and available for development for most APIs even before signing a VDP agreement), the faster we are generally able to certify your solution. 

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API Product Complexity

While some products (such as our Foreign Exchange and ATM Locator) are relatively easy to integrate, more complex products require a number of test cases to be executed before certification.

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Commercialization Prerequisites

This can cause delays if not completed before initiating onboarding. See below for more on prerequisites. 

The Onboarding Process


As previously mentioned, your Sandbox implementation may be the most crucial prerequisite to Onboarding. The Sandbox environment is designed primarily to ascertain product functionality and successful communication (requests/responses) between our systems. While this environment does contain sample data for executing the most common test cases, it does not replicate your production data set to test every edge case. A complete end-to-end validation of your solution can be carried out in higher certification environments after implementing your core functionality in Sandbox. Please note that the validation is conducted for connection purposes only; Visa is not liable for functioning or fitness for a particular purpose of your solution.

The second major prerequisite for Onboarding is our Commercialization process, which concludes with a mutually executed VDP Agreement. The process begins with an examination of your use case. You can start this discussion in parallel or even before creating your Sandbox project by contacting your Visa representative or emailing us at [email protected]. We will respond to you and aim to provide guidance on how best to move forward. After we’ve approved your use case, we will request you to sign the VDP Agreement delineating the pricing and legal terms of our engagement. Please review our Pricing and Commercialization guides to learn about the specific considerations that inform our pricing model and contract structure.

Going Live Request

While the VDP Agreement is in process, you may start the Going Live Request to initiate our Onboarding workflow. Simply click on the “Going Live” link on your Project Dashboard, and let our portal guide you through the next few steps to provide the requisite information about your organization and solution. This workflow will also prompt you to submit a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file to obtain our Certification and Production environment credentials.

Refer to Going Live process to learn about  how to create Keystores using Java Keytool, and more to help you successfully connect to our environments.


After the VDP Agreement and Going Live Request have been completed, one of our Implementation Managers will guide you through the Certification process. Our APIs vary widely in their complexity – some simple products follow a client self-service path to integration, while others require our Global Testing Team to execute pre-defined test cases in our Certification environment with you over the phone.

Each product team has defined its own set of requirements to determine production readiness. For instance, we will ask you to submit a PCI DSS Compliance attestation for products that receive/respond with PAN information. Once the Certification tasks have been completed, we will deploy the production configuration for your application and provide you the credentials for going live.


Once your solution is available for your customers, we’re here to support you should issues arise in production. In some cases, you might choose to enhance your capabilities after deployment. Once again, Sandbox implementation will be your first step – you may simply add to your existing project or start a new one. If the enhancement leverages additional features of products included in your VDP Agreement, just submit a Going Live Request when you’re ready. If, however, a new product is needed, you will have to sign a VDP Addendum to append the relevant product terms and pricing to your VDP Agreement.

For most clients, the second Onboarding is much faster, and you might even be able to continue using your existing production credentials. Please reach out to us at [email protected] to explore your options if in doubt before starting the second implementation.

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