Visa’s Everywhere Initiative has been doing the rounds of the world, tasking startups to solve payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow. The initiative is a global innovation program that can enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners.
Currently, it is scouring Latin America, looking for the 12 most innovative Fintech startups that can scale up with the needs of the local market. The most innovative Fintech startup in Latin America, after being selected at the final, will win a $50,000 prize and the chance to partner with Visa in transforming the future of payments and commerce. Startups in Latin America have been applying from April 23 and applications are being accepted till June 15.
Through this program, tech startups from across Latin America and the Caribbean can work on financial services by renovating payments and commerce in the region. According to their website, Visa is looking for Fintech startups, as well as other tech-driven startups in verticals or segments such as IoT, mobile, big data, e-commerce, fraud, and digital identity. These startups can apply their solutions to the financial services industry.
The program is going on at eight meetup points in the Latin America and Caribbean region, including, Monterrey, Mexico City, Bogotá, Lima, San Jose, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Sao Paulo. Finnovista and Visa executives will be there to share details and answer questions about the initiative.
A single winner will be chosen from the region of Latin America, who will receive an amount of USD$50,000. Twelve finalists will be chosen to participate in a 4-day immersion program with Visa in Miami before the final, for which Visa will cover the travel and accommodation. This immersion program is meant to bolster the participation of startups with the highest potential impact on financial inclusion in the final event.
There is also a special recognition for the best startup with the highest potential to have an impact on financial inclusion in the region.
The website provides information for those who want to know what a great submission and pitch for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative should include. While evaluating the submissions, the program is looking for startups with ideas relevant to Visa’s business, a product in market, traction with early customers, and early funding from external investors.
In addition to this, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative has added three student-focused initiatives, a partnership with Junior Achievement in Europe, student participation in the Russia 2018 VEI program, and with Northwestern University’s “MMM” student program in the United States.
For 2018, the program is reaching across the globe, which includes the US and Russia, where they launched in March. In the Asia-Pacific region, countries included are China and for the first time in Thailand and Vietnam. The program is also scheduled to go to the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
With regards to its efforts in Latin America, Visa’s report, Visa’s Innovations for a Cashless World: Consumer Desire and the Future of Payments, says, “In Latin America and Caribbean countries, Visa is starting to engage fintech companies very actively by connecting with promising startups, securing partnerships with established players, and participating in the community with mentorships and sponsorships. Our largest interest is to connect ideas from fintech with execution at the banks. We are also looking toward becoming a point of reference between the regulatory agencies, the banks, and the emerging fintech sector.”
“Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is in a unique position to help uncover, support and apply emerging technologies to today’s biggest digital commerce challenges,” Business Wire quoted Shiv Singh, senior vice president, Innovation and Strategic Partners at Visa. “No longer confined by the geographical proximity to established innovation hubs, the brightest ideas are coming from all corners of the world and this continues to be a successful way for Visa and its partners to collaborate with some of the most promising start-ups.”
The Visa’s Everywhere Initiative started in 2015, and since, it has awarded over $1 million and mentorship to more than 130 finalists. The award for the Latin America region in 2017 was won by the Argentinian startup, IncreaseCard. Increase simplifies and modernizes how retailers control, manage and reconcile their card transactions. Visa continues to work with past winners like IncreaseCard, QPal (Middle East), EasyShare (Asia-Pacific), HopOn (Europe) and Losant (North America).