Visa presents the company's vision on microtransactions and seeks to provide merchants with software for managing micropayments in virtual currency. This might be a step towards looking into the digital currency bitcoin.

Microtransactions (MTX) is a new API product by Visa which is now up on Visa Developers website for experimenting and creating test mobile applications. The APIs are available for working in a sandbox and will need further approval in case people will seek to implement them in commercial applications.

The new tool can be used for monetisation of customer loyalty and promotional points, virtual currency and digital coupons, Visa's website states. The key feature of Microtransactions is to “engage customers in virtual currency transactions with reward points and earned points,” according to the description. The APIs are supposed to enable merchants use app-based virtual coins and tokens and turn microtransactions in an additional source of revenue by giving users the ability to pay with virtual currency. It is not specified, however, what is meant here by virtual currency.

Last year Visa showed a lot of interest in the blockchain technology underpinning bitcoin. The company made a shared investment of $30 million in Chain Inc., a San Francisco-based blockchain startup. Visa also organised research work on blockchain in its two research labs in the US and Singapore.

Sonya Belova