What happened

Shares of Visa (NYSE:V) rose 14.4% in 2020, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The digital payments business has seen its stock price recover sharply from the lows reached during the March crash and is up 61% from its 52-week bottom.

Woman holding on to a credit card while smiling at her mobile phone.

Image source: Getty images.

So what

Visa was badly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 but has since made a recovery as global conditions improve. In its full fiscal-year 2020 earnings report, the company reported that operational metrics are seeing steady improvement since the nadir in April. Processed transactions have largely recovered from a more than 20% year-over-year decline in April to posting year-on-year growth in the August-to-October period.

U.S. payments volume also logged a 20% year-over-year increase in the Oct. 1 to 21 period, demonstrating steady growth even as the nation grapples with a resurgence in infections. For the full fiscal year, net revenue declined by just 5% while net income fell by 10% year over year.

Now what

The ongoing shift to digital payments remains a strong tailwind for Visa as it continues to expand its suite of services. The company announced a strategic partnership with Conferma Pay, a provider of virtual payments technology, to launch Visa Commercial Pay. This new service consists of a suite of business-to-business payment solutions to help businesses transition to digital payments that will replace antiquated manual processes.

Visa has also been active in acquisitions, buying fintech company YellowPepper back in late October. YellowPepper's platform offers multiple payment options for users and supports financial institutions and start-ups in Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps Visa reduce the cost and time for processing transactions.

The company is making the right moves in bolstering its capabilities as it rides the wave of digitization brought on by the pandemic. With its strong track record and brand name, Visa is poised to return to growth again in 2021 and beyond.

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