Visa Europe today announces the launch of Visa Europe Collab, its new international innovation hub. Working with a network of partners from across the digital and fintech ecosystem, Visa Europe Collab offers start-ups and technology entrepreneurs the insight, tools and connections to forge the technologies and services that will transform citizens’ interactions with payments.
“Visa is in a unique position to help innovators develop and scale their ideas,” says Steve Perry, Founder and Co-Creator of Visa Europe Collab. “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 organisations. 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 start-ups and entrepreneurs need to get their ideas off the drawing board and into the commercial world.”
In its first year, Visa Europe Collab aims to take a minimum of 20 ideas through its unique 100-day innovation funnel, from initial scoping and qualification, through market testing and design to proof of concept. Of those completed proofs of concept, the best new validated and commercially viable services will be handed back into the main body of the Visa business where they’ll be nurtured into fully grown services that can be rolled out to Visa member banks, retailers and consumers across Europe.
Visa Europe Collab’s wide range of partners include design agency Seren, Cass Business School, and accelerator Digital Catapult. "The key to Visa Europe Collab is collaboration," continues Perry. "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 organisations that want to transform the relationship citizens have with payments. Through our 100-day innovation funnel, entrepreneurs will have a unique opportunity to collaborate with the very best minds in the payments landscape, and beyond, to bring their ideas to life and give them access to a huge potential customer base of leading banks throughout the region."
Initially based in London, Visa Europe Collab will shortly open in other innovation hotspots, including Tel Aviv and Berlin. “The fintech space has never been more exciting, with everything from wearable technology to virtual reality impacting the way consumers interact with payments,” adds Perry. “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.”