Disrupting from the inside: the power of an open network

By Smriti Vicari, Head of Fintech, Visa, Europe

Over the past decade, Europe has established itself as a hotbed for payments innovation, leading the way in the adoption of new digital payments solutions, from contactless to mobile payments. In a payments landscape that is growing ever more complex, disruption is increasingly dependent on collaboration between different players in the market.

Here at Visa, we play a unique position as an enabler of collaboration between various members of our network. With tens of thousands of banking, technology, FinTech and merchant partners around the world, we see it as both an opportunity and a responsibility to create spaces for our partners to pool resources with the ultimate aim of building solutions that make it easier, safer and more convenient for the communities we serve to engage in digital commerce.

The foundation for innovation

Part of the commitment we make to FinTechs and challengers we work with is to enable increased access to the wider digital payments ecosystem. This includes building relationships between both emerging and established players and encouraging collaboration within the industry.

Established high-street banks and technology companies bring with them vast consumer reach as well as an innate understanding of the commercial environment, which can be of incredible benefit to FinTechs. Conversely, newer entrants to the market may be able to build innovative solutions more quickly and flexibly; by leaning on more established partners to complement capabilities and achieve scale, they can focus on product development.

This type of collaboration can be incredibly powerful, bringing new products and services to consumers at record speed. In the UK, we’ve collaborated with seven other players in our industry to launch b.yond, a white-label digital bank offering for new FinTechs, enabling them to launch in as little as two months. b.yond enables access to the expertise of eight industry experts, each bringing best-in-class capabilities to power a digital solution with a single interface and a single point-of-contact for its end users.

Visa continues to play a key role in facilitating and enabling commerce, serving as the connective tissue that binds the global financial services industry together. We maintain an open network between our partners, clients, FinTechs to ensure innovation remains unhindered.

This remains a focus of our work with FinTechs and platforms innovating in the payments space. We recently announced a partnership with Currencycloud, which will help them to scale their cross-border travel payments solution across our global network of banking partners. The partnership will enable more consumers to benefit from in-demand travel payment products like multi-currency wallets and real time notifications on international payments.

Ultimately, our goal is to ensure our network remains open to new and existing players whilst facilitating connections that drive innovation in payments so that we can continue to make it easier, safer and more convenient to pay and be paid.

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Tag: Payment technology