Visa Research conducts applied research on the most challenging problems in the payment industry and provides technical thought leadership to guide the company's future.
Technology has moved beyond its traditional enabling role to become the major driver in the transformation of commerce. Companies that are able to accelerate innovation based on sound understanding and novel application of new and disruptive technologies will be at a distinct advantage and at the forefront of this transformation.
Visa has developed and is employing a comprehensive strategy to ensure and extend its commerce technology leadership position. This strategy in action includes the formation of Visa Research, aimed at complementing an already substantial investment in technology development with a focus on the scientific foundations of existing, emerging, and future commerce related technologies across broad time horizons. With the establishment of a formal research organization and the associated long-term commitment to technology research, Visa joins the ranks of a small number of industry leaders with both the insight and ability to substantially influence and systemically impact the future.
Min Wang, SVP and Head of Visa Research
Min joined Visa as the Senior Vice President of Visa Research in May 2015. Visa Research is a newly created organization as part of the company's continued effort to expand technology research capabilities globally. Visa Research engages with the company's technology and product teams, business partners, academics and governments, to explore and develop technologies that are critical to the payments industry. In her role, Min leads research in data analytics, security and the future of commerce.
Prior to Visa, Min was part of Google Research where she was a Senior Staff Research Scientist and Research Manager focused on knowledge integration and inferencing at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California. Before Google, she was Director of Hewlett Packard Labs China in Beijing, China where she was named an HP Distinguished Technologist. Min also held a research leadership role as the manager of the Unified Data Analytics Department at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, New York.
Min has received several distinguished research awards for her work on data management. In 2009, she was honored with the ACM SIGMOD Test of Time Award for her 1999 SIGMOD paper titled "Approximate Computation of Multidimensional Aggregates of Sparse Data Using Wavelets."
Min received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University and B.S. and M.S. degrees, both in Computer Science, from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
Ron Perez, VP of Security Research
Ron Perez is Vice President and Head of Security Research at Visa Research where he leads a team of researchers focused on fundamental and applied security research that is critical to Visa, its partners in the digital commerce ecosystem, and the world. Prior to joining Visa, Ron led advanced security technology research and development organizations and initiatives as a senior technical leader, Fellow, Senior Fellow, and CTO at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, AMD, and the Cryptography Research Division of Rambus. His focus has been on end-to-end system security and he received his degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin.
Hao Yang, VP of Data Analytics Research
Dr. Hao Yang joined Visa Research as VP of Data Analytics Research in September 2015, where he is leading a team for advanced machine learning research to tackle challenging problems in the payment industry and develop the world's best commerce intelligence engine. Prior to joining Visa, Hao was a Software Engineer at Google Research, responsible for the research and development of a diverse set of machine learning technologies including social recommendation, knowledge discovery and semantic query understanding. Before Google, Hao was a Principal Researcher at Nokia Research Center, where he led a team of research scientists and engineers to drive innovations in data mining, machine learning, and real-time data processing and develop intelligent mobile services for various Nokia products. Hao also worked as a Research Staff Member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, focusing on distributed system technologies including stream processing, messaging and publish/subscribe systems.
Visa's unique position as the world's largest payment network enables us to serve billions of consumers and tens of millions of merchants around the world on a daily basis. Our mission at the Data Analytics team is to unlock the hidden value in these massive high-quality financial data, and develop the world's best commerce intelligence engine to drive innovations in the payment industry and beyond. We conduct applied research in machine learning and related fields to deliver unique insights and capabilities to our partners and clients and help them grow their business. Our research areas include deep learning applications in financial data, supervised and unsupervised representation learning, predictive modeling for fraud and risk management, consumer behavior modeling, recommendation systems, scalable machine learning systems, privacy preserving data analytics, and related fields.
- Deep Learning for Commerce – develop predictive models that are essential to all parties in the payment and commerce ecosystem using advanced deep learning technologies over the financial data warehouse at Visa.
- Scalable Machine Learning System – experiment with new generations of distributed systems for machine learning applications to meet the challenge of ever increasing scale and complexity in the data processing pipeline.
- Security Analytics – enable proactive defense in our critical network and system infrastructure through continuous monitoring and real-time anomaly detection using machine learning technologies.
Today's electronic payment ecosystems are possible because of a host of security technologies and capabilities that were developed over a very long and rich history of security research. Extending and enabling new ecosystems, to spur economic growth and improve the quality of life for everyone will require further advances in a number of key areas. We conduct fundamental and applied research in a number of security areas that are critical to Visa, our partners, and the world, including: mobile and distributed systems/cloud computing security, communication protocols and network security, cryptography and cryptanalysis, payments and cryptocurrency technologies, data and application security, malware and program analysis, user and data privacy, assurance and formal methods, security incident and event data analytics, and related fields.
- Advances in Cryptography – aims to build on Visa’s extensive data protection capabilities to achieve policy-enforced full lifecycle cryptographic protection for data in transit, at rest, and during computation, for all computing environments and scenarios Visa employs.
- Distributed and Endpoint Systems Security – enable end-to-end secure computation, data and workload management across the distributed enterprise, between ecosystem partners, and to/from the sea of endpoints and devices.
- Secure Data Acquisition and Analysis – balance advancements in cryptography and secure systems for strongest and most efficient context appropriate data acquisition, classification, protection and analysis across the computing spectrum.
Future of Commerce
Innovation and disruption that will shape the future of commerce is occurring across the globe. The payments industry is rapidly evolving with very exciting developments that may change the way the world conducts commerce. With these in mind, Visa Research’s Future of Commerce Research agenda has two main pillars: a in-house team focusing on exploring and experimenting with advanced payment technologies, and a broad research partnership program that engages with the research communities, especially top universities across the globe, to focus on the scientific foundations of emerging and future commerce related topics across broad time horizons.
Advanced Payment Technology Team
Visa envisions a world beyond payment cards and mobile devices. A place where anyone, anywhere can perform a transaction with assurance of reliability, security and convenience. Our goal is to explore and experiment with new ways to pay and enable Visa teams to innovate and lead the future payment market. Some of our research work focuses on enabling cashless payment for the unbanked, providing highly efficient and cost effective technology for cross-border transaction settlement, addressing challenges involved in enabling IoT based payment securities, and be at the fore front of the future of payment innovation and research.
- Distributed payment technology
- Payment technology for the unbanked
- Enable secure IoT based Payment
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Working at Visa
Imagine working for one of the pioneers in the payment technology space. The kind of company that's been setting the bar for the way people pay and get paid for more than 50 years, and continues to innovate on a global scale. Now imagine that company is less than 10,000 employees worldwide, small enough that you'll actually have an impact and do some amazing things. Sounds pretty awesome. Well, that company exists and it's Visa.
Imagine, in a single day, the diversity of transactions that Visa manages – from gaming enthusiasts who buy virtual goods to advance a level, to a small business merchant launching their first ecommerce business to a large consumer brand hitting their largest single-day sale. Now multiply transactions and interactions like that by millions on a global scale – that's Visa. It is a multi-billion dollar market that has experienced year over year growth!
Visa Research is a research community of scientists and engineers comprised of the most inspired and innovative thinkers and doers from across the country and around the world. We engage in fundamental and applied research, and inquisitive discussion of ideas and issues that both shape and challenge the global payments ecosystem. We foster and value a collaborative environment of inclusion that encourages dramatic results not possible when research is conducted in a vacuum.
We seek and cultivate explorers who are motivated to push the boundaries of technology beyond the conventional; to contribute to the broader innovation-driven environment at Visa, and realize the discoveries that will enable Visa, its clients and partners to solve business challenges and drive growth in digital commerce.