Eligible European Worldpay merchants can now leverage Visa’s technology and global reach to convert domestic and cross-border payments (in real time) for consumers and businesses worldwide, according to Visa’s press release.

With Visa Direct, funds transfers are executed much more efficiently – providing real-time transactional capability for person-to-person (P2P), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) commerce. And according to the same press release, Visa Direct is available at 44 million retail locations worldwide.

As part of this launch, the global card brand has released a mandate that participating card issuers should enable real-time payments by October 2018. Once these mandates are in place, funds may be transferred in 30 minutes or less, following transaction approval.

Regarding the product launch and what aspirations Visa holds for the immediate future, the same Visa press release quotes Mike Lemberger, Senior Vice President of Product Solutions, Visa Europe as saying “now we have an opportunity to transform how consumers and businesses pay each other in a fast, convenient and secure way.”

He goes on to say, “Visa Direct is a proven platform that enables technology companies, businesses and financial institutions to meet the demand for real-time payments, backed by the ubiquity, cost-efficiency and speed of Visa’s global network.”

Equally as enthused about the partnership, Worldpay Chief Product Officer of Global Ecommerce, Dave Glaser explains how “in recent years, the payments landscape has changed dramatically with clients and consumers alike expecting to make a payment under their own terms – whether that is making a real-time payment or using a specific method.”

Glaser goes on to say, regarding the collaboration with Visa, “we are proud to be working with Visa on this unrivalled platform as an early adopter in Europe and other global markets and believe that Visa Direct is an important step in meeting those needs – providing both acquirers and merchants with the tools they need”

As for any potential roadblocks for the European launch, a question of market relevance may be an issue, according to a recent PaymentsSource post. As the article points out, the European payments ecosystem is already well-established in instant bank-based payment options that are either low-cost or even free – and sometimes even faster than Visa Direct. This poses a competitive challenge to Visa who, according to this article, may be launching their real-time payments solution a little late in the game.