Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, is announcing an accelerator programme for startups across the Asia-Pacific that are looking to expand their businesses into new markets. Visa will select an elite group of up to six startups to be part of the first programme cohort. The Visa Accelerator Programme will focus on creating defined commercial opportunities for these startups to collaborate with Visa and its extensive network of bank and merchant partners in the region.
|Visa is receiving applications for its Visa Accelerator Program |
The Visa Accelerator Program is designed for startups that have launched successful solutions in their home markets but are looking towards the next stage of growth. As the engine of global commerce, Visa is uniquely positioned to help startups break into new geographies and reach new customer groups.
“In Visa’s ongoing work with the startup community, we often see companies face challenges when taking their business from a local success story to becoming a player in multiple markets,” said Chris Clark, regional president, Asia-Pacific, Visa. “Visa has global expertise that can help startups take their expansion plans off the white board and into the real world.”
Digital economy, small businesses, open data all key focus areas
Startups in the Visa Accelerator Program should be ready to work on some of the most pressing financial and technological opportunities in the Asia-Pacific. Visa is looking for startups that want to address areas such as:
- Expanding access to the digital economy to consumers and businesses that may be underserved or cash-dependent;
- Supporting small businesses as they grapple with changing technology 1demands and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Leveraging the growing open data environment in the region to develop more personalised banking and shopping experiences;
- Developing new ways of moving money that are not dependent on traditional credit and debit cards.
The Visa Accelerator Program could have a transformative impact on startups in places like Vietnam where growth and the appetite for digital payments is booming. The amount of capital injected into startups in Vietnam increased three-fold between 2016 and 2018, hitting nearly $900 million, and the country is also a regional leader when it comes to new payment technologies, accounting for 36 per cent of total investment in this field for Southeast Asia in 2019.
|The Visa Accelerator Program will last until August 2021 |
Vietnam is well on its way to becoming cashless, with a good spread of users adopting different kinds of cashless payments. According to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes study 2020, 47 per cent of consumers in Vietnam have increased their use of contactless, 45 per cent for card online, and 51 per cent for online wallet use. The guidance and expertise provided by the Accelerator Program could prove invaluable to fledgling startups looking to make a headway in the digital economy.
“There is no shortage of fantastic solutions coming out of the Asia-Pacific startup community. What is most important to Visa is how we can support those solutions getting elevated to a stage where in a few months’ time they could be pitched as a commercial deal to a leading bank, retailer, or technology company in the region. A big differentiator for the Visa Accelerator Program is our concentration on a small number of startups that are truly ready to unlock that next level,” said Clark.
Dang Tuyet Dung, Visa country manager for Vietnam and Laos, said: “The Visa Accelerator Program is a great opportunity to fast-track deserving businesses into the digital economy. The Accelerator Program can give startups access to the required technical expertise needed to thrive and ensures that businesses in Vietnam are equipped with the latest advances in digital payments. Through the chance to tap into Visa’s network of clients and partners and dedicated support from Visa’s solution architects, the Accelerator Program can help Vietnam’s startups become regional success stories.”
Join the programme
The Visa Accelerator Program is a new part of Visa’s broader set of platforms and activities for the startup community in the Asia-Pacific. With its dedication to supporting international expansion, the Visa Accelerator Program is the right fit for startups that are Series A and above, have a long-term commitment to Asia-Pacific growth and existing operations in the region, and have a market-validated, proven solution.
For more information, including how to apply, click here.