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Applications Open In South Africa For Visa Everywhere Initiative, A Global Innovation Competition For Fintech Startups

  • NEWSWIRE
  • 3 min read

Visa Everywhere Initiative tasks startups with solving today’s most pressing payments and commerce challenges, with monetary prizes, global exposure, and validation from one of the world’s most trusted brands

Applications are now open in South Africa for the 2023 edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global open innovation competition that sees startups pitch their innovative solutions to solve tomorrow’s payment and commerce challenges.

This year’s VEI in South Africa will see an in-person competition on 22 June 2023, the winner of which will progress to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) finales livestreamed on July 27 on TechCrunch – a leading online publisher focused on the tech industry and the startup ecosystem. The startup that wins at the CEMEA Regionals will participate in the global finale, which will be held on September 19 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a platform that empowers fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase the most ground-breaking, impactful solutions in the world of payments and commerce,” said Lineshree Moodley General Manager of South Africa at Visa.   

Since its launch in 2015, VEI has helped startups representing more than 100 countries collectively raise more than $16 billion USD in funding, with a network that includes nearly 12,000 startups from across the globe. Last year, VEI awarded more than $530,000 USD in prize money over the course of the competition, which saw over 4,000 startups participate from five regions. VEI 2022 saw Nigeria’s ThriveAgric take home the VEI Global grand prize of $100,000 USD. ThriveAgric also won the $20,000 USD Visa Direct prize.

“Through their technology-driven, innovative solutions, fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits to the markets they operate in – particularly when it comes to providing financial services to those who have traditionally been underserved. At Visa, we believe access to the digital economy drives equitable, inclusive growth, and VEI is an important means of supporting the innovators playing a leading role in this space,” added Moodley.

VEI is seeking innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who are uplifting communities by solving payment and commerce challenges faced by businesses of all sizes and sectors, in the following areas:

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 (aka neo banks)
  • Digital wallets, peer-to-peer (P2P) and transfers
  • Employee benefits
  • Payables
  • Corporate cards (aka expense management)

Value-add for merchants and/or consumers in the finance space

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

Small- and medium-sized business recovery

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

New categories for 2023:

  • Sustainable fintechs
  • Risk
  • Urban mobility

This year’s prizes

  • VEI South Africa 1st place: $50 000 USD
  • VEI South Africa 2nd place: $30 000 USD
  • VEI South Africa 3rd place: $20 000 USD

The application deadline for VEI South Africa is May 14th.

For more information about VEI, please visit our website