Emma Okonji

Visa has announced the launch of its Visa’s Everywhere Initiative, a global innovation programme that tasks start-ups to solve commerce challenges of tomorrow and further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners.

The initiative, which was launched in the sub Sahara Africa region, is expected to spread round the countries with the region as fast as possible, Nigeria inclusive.

Entrants in the first-ever sub-Sahara Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will have the opportunity to compete for a chance to win up to $50,000, access to Visa’s products and services, expert mentorship and support from Visa and exposure to key Visa partners and clients.
Regional President in charge of CEMEA for Visa, Andrew Torre, who made the disclosure recently, said: “In a highly dynamic industry, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative allows people to explore a host of ideas that solve business challenges, influence Visa product roadmaps, support our customers, and shape our culture of innovation.”

“With just 17 per cent of people in Africa having access to formal financial services, almost a third of funding raised by African startups in 2017 was in the Fintech sector. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51 per cent to $195 million in 2017.
Senior Director”, Digital Solutions, Visa sub-Sahara Africa, Geraldine Mitchley, said; “With over a hundred million dollars invested over the past ten years alone, the region’s Fintech industry is on the brink of a transformative breakthrough, and we believe the time is ripe to bring together its brightest minds and work on the next big idea in payments technology. With a clear goal of enabling cashless economies and financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape.

Visa had since March 23, 2018, invited eligible participants in the sub- Sahara Africa region to submit their business solutions that apply to specific briefs, which include: How can your startup leverage Visa Developer APIs to either-Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery? How can your company use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments? How can your startup leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?

Each challenge has been structured keeping in mind the niche dynamics of the local landscape. As the region’s domestic merchants rapidly expand their digital commerce proposition, payment gateways must also evolve at a breakneck speed to offer their customers a hassle-free shopping experience.

Participants can access visa.com.za/everywhereInitiative for details on the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.
Participants have until 17 May 2018 to submit their ideas, after which judges from Visa will select three finalists per brief to present their ideas to the judging panel at Visa’s local offices in the region.