Visa, the payments company, announced an expansion of its Visa Everywhere Initiative for 2018, adding new participating countries, including the U.S.
In a press release, the payment company said it’s introducing a more dynamic program, new participating countries and an increased level of support for participants of the Visa Everywhere Initiative, which challenges startups to come up with solutions to the commerce obstacles of the future and to enhance their own product propositions. It’s also aimed at providing visionary services for Visa’s network of partners.
“Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is in a unique position to help uncover, support and apply emerging technologies to today’s biggest digital commerce challenges,” said Shiv Singh, SVP, 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 startups.”
According to Visa, the expansion for this year includes the launch of two programs in the U.S. and Russia. Currently, the program exists in the U.S., Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. As for the dynamic format, Visa said the program is being expanded beyond the traditional country competition format and will now offer new ways for startups to participate in the initiative — which could include immersion workshops at Visa’s global network of Innovation Centers, networking opportunities within Visa’s global partner network and expanded regional competitions.
Visa said the startups will answer briefs tackling the biggest challenges that currently face the commerce landscape from both a global and regional perspective. Other briefs will be focused on expanding access to digital payments in Latin America, conversational commerce solutions in North America and cross-border travel for tourists in Asia. Since launching the program in 2015, Visa said it has awarded more than $1 million and provided mentorship to more than 130 finalists.
“Visa’s Everywhere Initiative originally opened up the possibility of using sound to support payments and other financial services use cases,” said Rodney Williams, CEO of LISNR in the same press release. “Over the past few years, we’ve worked closely with Visa to validate this concept, and we’re excited for a future where contactless payment activity may be supplemented by data over audio.”