Visa launches global innovation program for startups in SG

Visa has launched "Visa Everywhere Initiative" (VEI) in Singapore, a global innovation program for startups to solve real commerce challenges using their own product propositions. Start-ups in Singapore can submit their ideas targeted at solving problems for the commerce industry locally and across Southeast Asia.

The themes for the Singapore challenge include, transforming payment and commerce experiences for consumers using data analytics or building new consumer loyalty solutions, opening new merchant acceptance segments. It can also be providing financing solutions for merchants and businesses and helping consumers use digital payments when they travel.

Since the VEI program started in 2015, it has expanded to over 80 countries, with participation from more than 3,950 startups to date, the statement read.

“The startup community in Asia Pacific is full of great ideas for new commerce experiences, and Visa Everywhere Initiative is one of the ways we connect those startups with other players in the payments industry,” Chris Clark, regional president, Asia Pacific, Visa said. He added that the company wants to support startups in the region that are transforming digital payments and help them grow their business.

Apart from its VEI programme launch in Singapore, Visa has teamed up with technology company, Stripe to enable its real-time push payment solution on "Stripe Connect", the company's solution for multi-sided marketplaces and platforms.

Currently, Visa Direct offers real-time push payment capabilities to business owners and consumers via the cards that are already carry in their wallets. As such, Visa said that funds are available within minutes, providing "speed, convenience and security" to the payment experience.

However, with this integration with Stripe, verified sellers using Stripe’s Instant Payout feature will be able to receive payments on their Visa debit cards. This instant payout option is available to sellers in addition to a standard payment from Stripe to their bank account, which normally takes a few days to process.

Online marketplace Carousell and local ride-hailing app, Ryde are both companies that use Stripe’s Instant Payouts feature with Visa Direct. Both platforms allow sellers and drivers on their networks in Singapore to get paid "immediately" on their Visa debit cards, the statement read.

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa country manager for Singapore & Brunei said that with the evolving payment landscape, consumers and merchants are "expecting faster and more secure ways" of payments. He added that as digital payments are currently at the centre of the consumer experience, this partnership with Stripe to launch Visa Direct in Singapore helps to create a "better payment experience" for consumers and merchants through this real time disbursement solution.

“With the introduction of Visa Direct, we can help businesses across multiple industries enhance operational efficiency and strengthen their competitive advantage," he said. Meanwhile, Piruze Sabuncu, head of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong at Stripe said that the company has worked closely with its partners, including Visa to enable Instant Payouts for Stripe users.