Visa launches open call for startups across Asia Pacific (APAC) to apply for the Visa Accelerator Programme 2023.
Visa is inviting members of the APAC startup community to apply for its 2023 Accelerator Programme, which was originally launched in 2019. Now in its third year, the programme seeks to provide contemporary resolutions to the payments industry.
Visa’s 2023 programme is set to focus on developing solutions applicable to a range of areas. These include Web3, global money movement, embedded finance, merchant and small business enablers and open banking solutions.
The programme has demonstrated its ability to enable growth for ambitious startups, with many previously deriving from the APAC region.
The five startups from last year’s cohort recently presented their proof-of-concepts at the Visa Accelerator Spotlight event. Presentations followed startup collaboration with Visa product and business development teams. Evidently, this encouraged concepts into fruition while guiding regional business expansion.
Startups from the 2021 and 2022 cohorts secured nine commercial deals with Visa’s APAC-based clients and partners. Additionally, Visa has entered into six partnership and commercial agreements with selected startups, emphasising the value that startups can bring to the wider payments industry.
Chris Clark, APAC president at Visa, describes previous cohorts as “valued partners” while seeing the excitement in the co-development of new products.
“Expectations are high as we recruit for the third cohort,” says Clark. “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 APAC for the 2023 Accelerator Programme.”
Play & Play partnership
To source the best talent among the APAC startup community, Visa is partnering with the innovation platform Plug & Play.
The partnership is curating access to emerging fintech-focused startups for the 2023 programme. Plug & Play will apply its investor and industry expertise in identifying, attracting and accelerating startups that want to apply to the programme.
Jupe Tan, managing partner of Plug & Play APAC, describes the goal of the partnership as “to provide a line-of-sight into the most innovative fintech startups that are shaping the financial services industry across APAC.”
This is in addition to enabling “successful proof-of-concept engagements between the finalised startups and Visa.”
Dung Dang, Visa country manager of Vietnam and Laos, cites Vietnam as “a leading market for fintech innovation in ASEAN.”
Vietnam sees more than four out of five consumers using apps with embedded finance functionality where almost 80 per cent are interested in using smart devices for shopping.
“The programme will help fintechs expand their market reach with the right product solutions, technical integration and fast-tracked commercialisation,” continues Dang.
Additionally, Plug & Play is organising a programme roadshow, which will take place in Ho Chi Minh City.
We hope the appetite for innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam will see strong interest among startups to join our programme,” concludes Dang.
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.”
Join the programme
Applications for the Visa Accelerator Programme 2023 are now open and will close 10 January 2023.
Applicants must be series A or above, and have a market-validated, proven solution. This will accompany a long-term commitment to APAC growth and existing operations in the region.
The six-month programme will allow selected startups to work together with Visa’s payment experts, product architects and business development teams to co-develop, test and iterate solutions.
Likewise, applicants will pursue tangible go-to-market opportunities with Visa’s extensive network of financial institutions, merchants and digital partners.