Global payments company Visa has today launched its second annual Everywhere Initiative aimed at Australia and New Zealand startups that have women in leadership.
Visa's Everywhere Initiative challenges startups to use Visa APIs (Application Program Interface) to create consumer or business-to-business payments solutions.
This year's competition is open for entries through October 23 and will culminate in a pitch event for finalists at the Women in Payments Symposium on November 21 in Sydney.
Stephen Karpin, Visa Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific group country manager says, "Visa's Everywhere Initiative is designed to accelerate the future of commerce by providing Visa capabilities to innovative entrepreneurs in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our global API platform, Visa Developer, has already enabled co-creations with many of our banking and technology partners, and we're looking forward to seeing the creative solutions entered into this year's competition.
“Particularly close to my heart and aligned with Visa's values is the focus on women in leadership in Visa's 2017 Everywhere Initiative,” continues Karpin.
“Universal acceptance is core to Visa's business and we fundamentally believe that a diverse workforce is essential to our success.
“We're proud to be partnering with Women in Payments and providing an opportunity to startups that promote diversity within their own teams.
The pitch presentations will be judged by a panel including Visa executives and other industry leaders, with winners given the opportunity to win up to AUD$25,000.
There will be a People's Choice Award on the day of AUD$5,000.
Kristy Duncan, Women in Payments founder and CEO, says, “I'm honoured to be involved in Visa's Everywhere Initiative and to play a part in supporting Australian and New Zealand startups that are both creating solutions that make life easier and empowering women to succeed in the technology and finance industries.
Winners from the 2016 Visa Everywhere Initiative included New Zealand's Jude, Pulse ID (then Proximiti), Rush Digital and Thought-Wired, and Australia's Persollo.
Other countries and regions that have hosted Visa's Everywhere Initiative include the US, China, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Visa's Everywhere Initiative is an innovation programme designed to encourage the “next big thing” in payments and commerce, as the payments industry shifts from plastic to digital and new entrants join traditional stakeholders in payments.
The programme first launched in the US in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global programme with nearly 1,500 participating startups, which have collectively raised over $2 billion in funding, with more than 90 finalists and 19 winners selected.