The Visa Everywhere initiative is a program that tasks startups to solve payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow. It also helps the startups to enhance their own product propositions while at the same time providing visionary solutions for Visa’s network of partners. The program was first launched in 2015 in the U.S but has expanded into a global program with over 2,100 participating startups that have collectively raised over USD. 2 Billion in funding. The program is active in 6 regions that is North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The four Kenyan startups that is M-changa, Mookh, WayaWaya and LipaPlus were among the 12 chosen to proceed to the finals from a total of 238 entries. The 4 startups are expected to compete against other innovators form Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia in the finals for a chance to walk away with funding of upto USD 50,000 to further develop their ideas.
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M-Changa, is a fundraising management platform while Mookh Africa, is a solution that makes it easier for people in Africa to buy and sell on mainstream social media platforms whereas WayaWaya allows individuals and business to access banking services. On the other hand, LipaPlus is a mobile POS and wallet that enables cashless payments.
The Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges
- How can startups leverage Visa Developer APIs to either; Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
- How can startups use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments?
- How can startups leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?
The entrants were asked to submit ideas that could resolve at least one of the challenges. From the 12 startups, 3 winners will be selected, that is one winner per brief, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. The 3 winners will thereafter be invited to a working meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. The overall winner is set to receive an additional US$25,000.
The Africa edition will come to a close on the 24th of July in Johannesburg, where each finalist will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Visa and the payments industry.