Visa has announced an open call for startups across Asia-Pacific to apply for the Visa Accelerator Program 2023.
Now in its third year, the Visa Accelerator Program selects a small group of startups to collaborate on some of the most pressing challenges in the payments industry. The 2023 programme will focus on developing solutions in the following areas: Web 3.0, global money movement, embedded finance, merchant and small business enablers, and open banking solutions.
The initiative was launched in 2019 and has since enabled the growth of some of Asia-Pacific's most prominent startups. The five startups from the 2022 cohort presented their proof-of-concepts at the Visa Accelerator Spotlight event, after working with product and business development teams to bring their concepts to life and expand their businesses into new markets across the region.
Startups from the cohorts of the past two years secured nine commercial deals with Visa's clients and partners in the region. Additionally, Visa has entered into six partnership and commercial agreements with selected startups, emphasising the value that they can bring to the larger payments industry.
Chris Clark, president of Visa for Asia-Pacific said, "It is exciting to see great products co-developed by the successful startups from the previous cohorts, who have also become our valued partners. Expectations are high as we recruit for the third cohort, because we want to continue bringing the best startups across the region into Visa's payments network. We're looking forward to seeing applications from all around Asia-Pacific for the programme."
To tap into the best of the Asia-Pacific startup community, Visa is partnering with Plug & Play, one of the world's most successful global innovation platforms. Plug & Play will be a key strategic partner that will curate access to emerging fintech-focused startups for the Visa Accelerator Program 2023. Plug & Play will bring expertise as a highly successful investor and its experience working with other major corporate accelerator initiatives to identify, attract, and accelerate startups that want to solve industry challenges and scale new technologies.
Jupe Tan, managing partner of Plug & Play Asia-Pacific said, "We are delighted to be working on the Visa programme. Our goal is to provide a line-of-sight into the most innovative fintech startups that are shaping the financial services industry across Asia-Pacific, as well as enable successful proof-of-concept engagements between the finalised startups and Visa."
Dung Dang, Visa country manager for Vietnam and Laos shared, “Vietnam is a leading market for fintech innovation in ASEAN with more than four out of five consumers using apps with embedded finance functionality and almost 80 per cent of consumers interested in using smart devices for shopping."
The Visa Accelerator Program will help the most innovative fintechs expand their market reach with the right product solutions, technical integration, and fast-tracked commercialisation. "With the roadshow organised by Plug & Play in Ho Chi Minh City, we hope the appetite for innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam, one of the most vibrant startup scenes in Asia-Pacific, will see strong interest among startups to join our programme,” Dang explained.
Chris Clark added, "Our partnership with Plug & Play will connect Visa with like-minded fintechs that share our common goal to build new digital commerce experiences together. From exploring the potential of new developments like Web 3.0 and embedded finance, to making it easier for businesses to move money around the world, there are so many opportunities for startups to work with Visa and our network of bank and merchant partners."
Applications for the Visa Accelerator Program 2023 are now open and will close on January 10, 2023. The initiative is the right fit for startups that are at Series A and above, have a long-term commitment to Asia-Pacific growth and existing operations in the region, and have a market-validated and proven solution.
The six-month scheme will allow selected startups to work together with Visa's payment experts, product architects, and business development teams to rapidly co-develop, test, and iterate solutions, while pursuing tangible go-to-market opportunities with Visa's extensive network of financial institutions, merchants, and digital partners.
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