Launched in 2022, the Visa Innovation Studio serves the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The Innovation Studio is a place where clients and fintech partners are meant to co-create payment and commerce solutions.
The facility was designed to replicate the success of Visa’s flagship innovation center, One Market in San Francisco and provide Visa’s partners with access to tools that strengthen their capabilities in developing new solutions.
Given this background, the Visa Innovation center hit the ground running and has managed to partner with various clients to deliver cutting edge solutions in the Kenyan market.
Here are some of the partners and solutions that they have launched.
Loop describes itself as a digital super wallet that enables one to manage their money centrally. Loop has partnered with Visa to roll out a feature that enables one to link several cards to the app regardless of the bank. This feature enables one to be able to manage all their payments from a central place rather than having to walk around with the various cards. This partnership also enables Loop customers to make payments at 50 million merchants in 450 cities spread across the world.
Little started out as a ride hailing app but has morphed to be a lifestyle app which has everything under one roof. That is taxi hailing, delivery services, entertainment and financial services. Little has partnered with Visa and will in a few weeks introduce a Tap to Pay feature for use by their drivers. Essentially, a client will have the option to tap their credit or debit card to pay for their ride as an addition to their existing payment methods. Towards this, they will issue their drivers with NFC enabled phones.
Absa Bank partnered with Visa to launch their Mobi Tap solution. The solution allows small businesses to accept card-based payments from customers using an Android smartphone.
This solution is expected to quicken the purchasing process by leveraging the smartphone as a point of sale (POS). Customers simply tap their debit or credit cards on an Android phone or tablet to make a payment.
KCB Bank partnered with Visa to launch a Tap to Pay solution. Whereby KCB Bank customers with Android handsets and Garmin wearables can make contactless payment transactions. The solution enables merchants to accept card payments without having to acquire a POS terminal which some described as being tedious.
With the rise in the number of digital payments, there will always be concerns around security of the funds. This is because there has been an unfortunate rise in the number of cases of digital fraud with hackers trying to make away with your hard-earned money.
However, Visa indicated that they have put in place adequate measures to counter any attack on their network. Some of the measures include an anti-fraud detection system that uses artificial intelligence to make predictive analytics that can be able to detect irregular use of your card in real time. In the event that an irregular transaction is detected, this information is then relayed to your financial institution who can them make a decision to decline the transaction hence keeping your money safe. Not to
mention an 800 strong workforce whose work is to ensure that your money is safe.
All I can say is that I can’t wait to see what the future holds around payments at the Visa Innovations Studio.