Case Study: Visa University

See how Visa created a digital university to enable high-impact learning.

Business & Data Challenge

Building a corporate university is difficult. Especially in the midst of industry disruption and an ambitious business strategy. Transforming a business into a technology-driven digital commerce company requires exceptional talent and a platform to develop that talent.

Until recently, Visa’s learning was siloed and more compliance driven than learner driven. Facilitating a modern learning ecosystem to developing employees was imperative to driving success.

Visa needed a framework for understanding how learning and development (L&D) supports the overall business. Specifically, the L&D function needed improved business goal alignment.


To be strategic partners to the business, the L&D department wanted to be more data driven. To validate that a modern learning ecosystem has a positive outcome on employee performance, the organization wanted to track and evaluate:

  1. how employees were learning, and from what sources
  2. which key learning moments contributed to exceptional leadership experiences
  3. how exceptional leaders were learning compared to their peers

To create an enhanced learning culture, the L&D team established physical learning hubs and a next-generation digital learning ecosystem powered by xAPI and a learning record store (LRS).

Visa's Digital Campus—which consists of enterprise (e.g., Payments College and Leadership College) and functional colleges (e.g., Tech College, Finance College, etc.)—brings all learning together where learners can create learning paths and develop skills they want and need to help them grow professionally. All individual and group progress is sent to Watershed, which measures and analyzes learning data across the organizational hierarchy.


By using xAPI and Watershed, Visa's learning ecosystem remains agile and offers a “plug-and-play” ability to modify tools when necessary.

Visa's Digital Campus is now fully operational and expanding with physical locations in Foster City, California, and Singapore and a robust digital campus that's accessible wherever a Visa employee might be at any moment. In addition to engagement dramatically rising, learning is now part of the organization's brand. Early impacts also include:

  • improved communication, which helps to better engage with learners regarding strategic business and organizational needs
  • improved user experience, which encourages learning through personalized recommendations
  • analytics that support and enhance user experience, which helps the organization understand trends, correlations, and moments of need when it comes to organizational learning slow down

Furthermore, Visa has been able to better build and maintain an ongoing culture of learning. Several of these highlights include:

  • Six months after launch, more than 80 percent of the company had interacted with the digital campus. Specifically, users started/completed formal learning or viewed/completed informal learning.
  • Visa's largest internal organizations are experiencing higher adoption rates:
    • technology (95%)
    • finance (90%)
    • legal (81%)
    • human resources (93%)
    • marketing and communications (91%)

Visa has also noticed the platform is contributing to a measurable behavior change. Of the 80 percent of people who have benefitted from the platform, more than 19 percent have gone on learning streaks (same logic as users who started/completed formal learning or viewed/completed informal learning). 

Learning streaks—instances of learning that span multiple weeks in a row on the platform—are positive indicators of a learning culture shift.

Ready to get started?

Our team of learning and technology experts is here to help you build an evidence-based learning strategy so you can get the most out of Watershed—and your learning programs.

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