News & Analysis

Visa invites startups to solve business challenges and bring new ideas to payment solutions

- August 5, 2016 2 MIN READ

Global payments company Visa has announced it will be inviting startups to participate in the Everywhere Initiative, a competition to solve challenges within the business around payment solutions. The competition has launched in Australia and New Zealand, giving local startups the opportunity to win $70,000 and the chance to run a pilot with Visa.

This is the first time the Everywhere Initiative is being run in the ANZ region, with previous competitions held in the US and China. Visa has partnered with Sydney coworking space Tank Stream Labs and New Zealand business growth hub The Icehouse to help encourage collaboration within the startup communities.

Stephen Karpin, group country manager for Visa in Australia and New Zealand, said the Everywhere Initiative is designed to accelerate Visa’s vision of co-creating the future of payments.

“It’s one of many initiatives, including our API platform Visa Developer, to drive the next generation of commerce for consumers.”

Startups will have exclusive access to use Visa’s APIs to solve three different challenges including the ‘Everywhere Consumer challenge,’ the ‘Everywhere Commercial challenge’ and the ‘Everyone Everywhere challenge.’

For the Consumer challenge startups will use Visa’s API to improve the experience or solve a problem when customers make or receive a payment. Within the Commercial challenge startups will address a problem experienced by businesses when they make or receive payments. For the final, Everywhere challenge startups will look at how payments can be made frictionless for consumers with disabilities to expand access to Visa’s payments to everyone, everywhere.

“APIs are the connective tissue that enables new payment experiences. We are excited to see what Australia and New Zealand’s startup communities will create during this competition,” said Karpin.

“We saw incredible ideas come from the United States and China during our previous competitions. We are continuing to work with some of those winners and finalists today,” said Shiv Singh, senior vice president global head of digital and marketing transformation at Visa’s headquarters in the US.

“Australia and New Zealand are both leading countries for payment innovation, so I’m looking forward to seeing the start-up responses to the three challenge questions. Ultimately this is about working together to move the dial in payment and marketing innovation for issuers, merchants, consumers and Visa.”

Increasingly large corporate companies are looking to startups to help evolve their business and help them transition into the disruptive world of tech. Earlier this year Mercedes Benz launched a hackathon called Hack My Van, asking startups to reimagine the inside of the Vito van. The hackathon invited startups to develop new and innovative ways of how the Vito van works for businesses in an attempt to update a car that  has long been used by small businesses for travel and transportation of goods and services, while the Bank of Queensland recently asked startups to help customers hit life’s milestones of buying their first car, home and so on.

While hackathons in Australia have mainly been focused around idea generation and industry collaboration, competitions like Visa give startups the opportunity to create an idea and then test it in a pilot program. Startups will gain access right from the start to an existing user base, which gives them the perfect opportunity and platform to test their products.

Entries are now open for the Everywhere Initiative until August 31. Before shortlisted, candidates will be invited to take part in a public pitch event in Sydney where the competition participants will be decided.