Artificial Intelligence

Visa

At a glance

By the time you finish watching this animation, Visa’s AI will have checked more than half million transactions for fraud. This fun, fascinating explainer reveals how.

AI’s unsung pioneers

For the past 25 years, Visa has been pioneering the use of artificial intelligence. Yet not enough people realise it. 

Something else they don’t realise? Right now, Visa’s AI is helping millions of people’s payments go through quickly and securely. 

And one more thing? Visa’s customers are actually helping AI get smarter every second.

Explaining all

So how is that possible?

Visa asked us to create a fascinating, understandable explainer that answered exactly that question. 

Storyboard sketches for Visa artificial intelligence animation

Simplifying the script

We needed to understand exactly how Visa’s AI worked, make it simple enough to understand, and visual enough to be compelling.

We wrote a script that was smart yet understandable, detailed but not dense, fun but not fluffy. 

This explainer would reveal how every transaction you make with a Visa card  – no matter what it is – helps AI get smarter at assessing whether a transaction is at risk of being fraudulent. 

We wrote it to appeal to anyone visiting Visa.com: the media, merchants or interested customers.

Humanising AI

Artificial Intelligence is too frequently represented as a malevolent force. An all-seeing red eye. A glowing orb. An Austrian cyborg… 

Understandably, Visa wanted to give AI a friendly face. Quite literally, in fact. 

So we designed an approachable avatar to help viewers connect with this abstract concept and reinforce the idea that Visa’s AI is a force for good.

Illustration of visa's artificial intelligence
Data visualization showing the number of account and account transactions Visa's artificial intelligence monitors

Taking shape

How could we show people how Visa’s AI is constantly learning and making decisions with every new transaction? 

The solution was to give physical shape to concepts like ‘transactions’, which became diamonds, squares, circles and crosses. 

Once we’d created this visual vocabulary, we could start to speak with it. We could show AI using these transactions to learn. 

We could also now show AI’s ‘brain’ growing and learning, as it processes and absorbs new shapes, evolving from simplicity to sophistication.

Storyboard frame from Visa artificial intelligence animation
Storyboard frame from Visa artificial intelligence animation

Two worlds

Our story transitions between two worlds: the real-world actions of the cardholder (buying a burrito, for example) and the conceptual world of the AI (checking for potential fraud).

To help us make these transitions seamless, we used ‘frame-within-frame’ storytelling that enabled us to show both worlds at the same time.

Storyboard frame from Visa artificial intelligence animation

Colour coded

Colour was an important storytelling element, too. For example, whenever fraud was committed, we used red followed by a dark screen to represent negative situations.

Wherever we could, we used subtle animations to bring the characters and scenes to life. 

The script and animation worked hand in hand, helping each other to tell the same story as clearly as possible.

Data visualization from Visa's artificial intelligence showing the number of transactions which are processed per second

Seeing is believing

Visa’s AI explainer has now been viewed thousands of times online, and also makes appearances at Visa events, Visa innovation centres, trade shows and presentations.