The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) is inviting fintech and payment startups to showcase their products and solutions. The initiative will offer finalists firsthand exposure to key fintech stakeholders across banking, merchant, VC and government sectors. Winners of the competition will be awarded monetary prizes and stand a chance to partner with global brands like Visa.

This year’s program includes startups that are using cryptocurrency and Visa Direct. Finalists from across the world that are driving economic growth will converge in Qatar this November for the VEI finals. Past editions of VEI have given some of the most promising innovators in the payments space a shot at accelerating their growth.

The VEI network includes 8,500 startups from around the world, with the number increasing every year. Since its launch in 2015, the program has helped startups from over 100 countries collectively raise more than Ksh. 284 billion (USD 2.5 billion) in funding, addressing the issue of capital raising.

“Fintechs and other payments innovators are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access the money they need when, they need it, and the pandemic has seen this become more critical than ever,” said Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and Regional Manager, East Africa.

On his part, Giorgi Tsurtsumia, co-founder and co-CEO of PAYZE and 2021 VEI CEMEA winner said, “Competing on a global stage alongside some of the most prestigious startups in the world and, more importantly, being able to receive that global exposure and support from a trusted brand like Visa was an exceptional achievement for PAYZE.”

Entrepreneurs in the following sectors are eligible to apply.

Enablers of digital services and digital issuers

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • Crowdfunding
  • Banking-as-a-Service
  • BIN sponsors
  • Issuer/processors
  • Program managers

Digital issuance

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • Alternative lending
  • Personal financial management
  • Money transfer and remittance
  • Digital banking
  • Digital wallets, peer-to-peer (P2P) and transfers
  • Employee benefits
  • Payables
  • Corporate cards (expense management)

Value-add for merchants/consumers in the finance space

  • Data and analytics
  • ID, authentication and security
  • InsurTech
  • Loyalty
  • Merchant services and tools
  • Process and payment infrastructure
  • Retail technology


  • Money movement (disbursements, Intra-account, P2P vendor and payments)
  • Acceptance (e-commerce and mobile acceptance)
  • Risk management (chargebacks, etc.)
  • Brand management (Community building)