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Competition for payments and fintech innovation

Mar 14 2018 15:00
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Visa announced that its Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will expand into sub-Sahara Africa (SSA).

At the launch, announced at the DHL eCommerce Money Africa conference in Cape Town on Wednesday, the Visa's Everywhere Initiative is described as a global innovation programme that encourages start-ups to solve the commerce challenges of tomorrow, further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s network of partners.
Entrants 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.

Geraldine Mitchley, Visa's senior director for Digital Solutions for Visa in sub-Sahara Africa.

According to Visa, just 17% of people in Africa have access to formal financial services. At the same time, almost a third of funding raised by African start-ups in 2017 was in the Fintech sector.
“With over $100m 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," said Mitchley.

Beginning 23 March, Visa invites eligible participants in the SSA region to submit their business solutions that apply to one of the following three briefs:
How can your start-up 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 start-up 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 keeps 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 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.
One winner per brief will be selected, and each will receive a $25 000 monetary prize. Winners of the prize will be invited to a working meeting with Visa, and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional $25 000.

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