With an eye toward sparking innovation, Visa Europe has opened a new hub.
Late last week, the payment services cooperative launched Visa Europe Collab, an international innovation hub that supports startups and entrepreneurs in the development and creation of new technologies in the payments space.
As outlined in a press release, the first-year goal for Visa Europe Collab is to guide a minimum of 20 ideas through a 100-day “innovation funnel,” which will run the gamut from initial idea stage to market testing to proof of concept. The most promising completed innovations to emerge from the process will be turned over to Visa business and implemented into services that the company will offer throughout Europe.
“Visa is in a unique position to help innovators develop and scale their ideas,” said Steve Perry, Founder and Co-Creator of Visa Europe Collab, in the release. “We have 50 years of industry expertise as well as the connections and scale offered by more than 3,000 European member banks and financial organizations. Now, through our innovation hub, we are creating a network of partners and a community that will help us provide the mentoring, advice and experience startups and entrepreneurs need to get their ideas off the drawing board and into the commercial world.”
While Visa Europe Collab is currently based in London, the company states that it plans to open the hub in other locations such as Tel Aviv and Berlin. Partners in the venture presently include the design agency Seren, Cass Business School, and the accelerator Digital Catapult.
“The FinTech space has never been more exciting, with everything from wearable technology to virtual reality impacting the way consumers interact with payments,” continued Perry in his statement. “For us, this made it the ideal time to launch Collab. 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.”