India’s startup ecosystem is the new rage attracting investors as well as global companies towards leveraging this young talent and technology potential in the country. Yet another company to join the ranks, is the global payment services behemoth Visa, which has announced to open a new innovation hub in its recently unveiled Technology Center of Excellence in Bengaluru.
Under the new initiative, VISA plans to connect with local startups to work on the development of new age payment solutions and services.
We want to have an environment where we can engage with others like Apple, Google or Square or other startups…to enhance the payments space with solutions. We are opening an innovation center in Bengaluru, similar to the ones we have in San Francisco, Dubai, Singapore and Brazil, where startups can come in and story board with us.,
said Rajat Taneja, executive vice president of technology at Visa.
A person familiar with the development, told ET, that the new center can be on the lines of an incubator-like model or an accelerator program similar to that of the US retailer firm Target in India and can serve as an incubator space for startups.
However nothing has been finalized as of now as Visa spokesperson said that it “would not describe it as an `incubator space’ simply because the plans are still very much fluid and not final”. Rajat Taneja also added that they were still in the early stages and building it out, working with a lot of startups, banks and merchants.
Through their new center in Bengaluru which is expected to have 1000 employees by 2017, Visa plans to focus more on in-house product development in India in addition to their existing partnerships with vendors like Infosys and TCS.
What we’ve started doing is opening our network to developers in a way that we’ve never done before
said Taneja indicating towards their plans to attract developers to come up with innovative solutions and applications for payment that can work across a broad range of devices by giving them access to the company’s 400-payment products and services.
India is not the first country where Visa is operating in this way. The company has launched many similar programs in other countries, a major one being a 112,000-square foot innovation center, One Market, at its new office space in San Francisco, California.
Apart from Visa, US retailer firm Target also recently launched an accelerator program to work with startups in India and other companies like General Electric and Lowe’s are also working with local startups to work on new age technology solutions and services.
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