While the financial services industry copes with the current pandemic, some firms are finding opportunities for growth.
Visa's Fast Track Program helps businesses to get up and running quickly on the Visa network, shortening the process from months to weeks. Since expanding globally in mid-2019, Visa's Fast Track program has grown to include 140 fintech firms worldwide.
The program provides access to Visa’s ecosystem partners, online licensing, and Visa’s APIs. It also provides participants with go-to-market toolkits, online education and expert advice to help fintech companies scale their businesses.
New members have recently joined from Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. These fintech firms are addressing how consumers and businesses manage money, invest, receive loans and send payments worldwide.
“Our goal is to bring cutting-edge fintechs into the Visa ecosystem, to help them grow and scale their business in record time,” said Terry Angelos, senior vice president and global head of fintech, Visa. “Through programs like Fast Track, Visa is committed to helping fintechs, many of which are small businesses, advance their potential and get into market quickly so they are ready to provide innovations that move the world forward everyday – and especially in current times.”
Many upstart fintech companies are finding opportunities to help customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Visa partners like Airwallex, Fundation and Rappi have reacted to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Australia-founded Airwallex has extended support to Australian and UK small businesses by offering to waive their international transactions fees. U.S.-based Fundation is helping small businesses access capital they need during these times. Rappi out of Columbia has begun piloting food delivery by robots, working to minimize the spread of the virus.
"Through our partnership with Visa, we will continue to innovate and develop strategies to aid in the relief and recovery of our customers' businesses," said Sam Graziano, chief executive officer of Fundation.
The newest members of the Fast Track Program span B2C and B2B and include digital currency wallets and companies founded by women, including North American-based Kikoff and gogo Getter, and Australia-founded Airwallex.
As part of the program, Visa's Fast Track members can collaborate with enablement partners, which lay the groundwork for startups to build their products. Announced today, three new program manager enablement partners – Cascade FinTech, Deserve, and PEX Card – are becoming part of Fast Track in the U.S., joining companies like Stripe and Marqeta. This brings the total number of enablement partners to more than 20 globally.
Visa estimates that there are 139 million user accounts today for digital currency wallets. Digital currency-focused Fast Track companies include Fold, TrustToken and Genesis Block. These firms can connect their consumers to Visa’s 61 million merchants worldwide.
Visa is particularly focused on B2B payments and how that payments space is evolving in the digital age. UK-based digital lender Capital on Tap, which provides credit cards and loans to 60,000 SMBs, and U.S.-based Fundation, which provides an application processing platform for banks and small business lenders, are part of the program. So are Konfio, a Mexico-based startup that uses a data to enable fast credit assessment for SMBs, and Neat, a Hong Kong startup working with SMBs to grow their business globally.
“After recently joining Visa’s Fast Track program, we were able to quickly put our co-branded debit card into market in the United States,” said Will Reeves, chief executive officer, Fold.
“By working with Visa, we are delivering on our mission to provide an easy way for shoppers to earn rewards in bitcoin for their everyday spending, and help our business continue to scale with the backing of Visa’s vast network and resources.”