Visa Europe has launched an innovation hub, promising to help startups build payments-related technologies and services, with the best being rolled out to the card giant's member banks, retailers and consumers.
The hub, Visa Europe Collab, is aiming to take at least 20 ideas in its first year and put them through a 100-day "innovation funnel," that will go from initial scoping and qualification, through market testing and design to proof of concept.
The best "validated and commercially viable services" will be handed back into the main body of the Visa business and further developed so that they can be commercially rolled out.
The hub will initially be based in London but will be extended to other innovation hotspots like Tel Aviv and Berlin. A network of partners, including design agency Seren, Cass Business School, and accelerator Digital Catapult, has also been established.
"It's not about acquiring start-ups or buying stakes: instead, we're giving Europe’s most innovative companies access to the mentoring, services and R&D of a community of like-minded organisations that want to transform the relationship citizens have with payments," says Steve Perry, founder and co-creator, Visa Europe Collab.
"We believe we can provide the glue that binds myriad stakeholders, such as innovators, banks, retailers, mobile operators and government together, to grow the ecosystem and ultimately deliver the best new payments services."
Separately, Visa Inc is expanding its tech research capabilities under the leadership of Min Wang, a former senior scientist and researcher at Google, HP Labs China and the IBM Watson Research Center. Visa Research Labs will focus on applied science and deep research, working with academics, think tanks, governments and security experts on new technologies relate to payments.