The digitizing of payment transactions has become important enough at Visa and MasterCard to remain a top investment priority, even as the networks brace for the economic fallout of collapsing oil prices and volatile stock markets.  

"We've not cut back on anything that related to building our digital business, the APIs and SDKs that are part of the developer center, the things we are doing on behalf of merchants, the things that we're doing on behalf of the issuer to build our consulting services," said Charlie Scharf, Visa's CEO, during Thursday afternoon's earnings call.

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