Visa Europe has announced the launch of a new innovation hub that promises to help payment focused startups to build payments-related technologies and services which can then deployed to the network’s member banks, retailers and consumers. The new program called Visa Europe Collab hopes to take at least 20 ideas in its first year and put them through a 100-day intensive program that will go through initial scoping and qualification to market testing and design to proof of concept.
According to Visa Europe the hub will be initially based in London but will eventually be extended to other emerging payment technology hotspots like Tel Aviv and Berlin. Commenting on the announcement, Steve Perry, founder and co-creator, Visa Europe Collab said,
“It’s not about acquiring start-ups or buying stakes: instead, we’re giving Europe’s most innovative companies access to the mentoring, services and R&D of a community of like-minded organizations that want to transform the relationship citizens have with payments. We believe we can provide the glue that binds myriad stakeholders, such as innovators, banks, retailers, mobile operators and government together, to grow the ecosystem and ultimately deliver the best new payments services.”
The move by Visa Europe follows in the footsteps of other leading payment industry players like Wells Fargo, Citi and Barclays which have all opened in one form or another payment technology incubators to help drive the creation of new and innovative services that could eventually deployed across different channels. While not every new start-up will succeed, Visa Europe is taking a chance on developing a new service or technology that could help the card network retain its leading position in an ever changing payments landscape.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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