Visa, the world’s largest payment provider in the cashless domain, is planning to significantly increase the capabilities of its Indian technology centre in order to better working with the burgeoning startup ecosystem in the country. The other thing on the company’s agenda is blockchain, the technology behind virtual currency bitcoin.
Apart from reaching out into the local markets for potential customers — mainly in start-ups — Visa’s centre in the country will also be the site of some of its latest, cutting edge developments in the field of payments and transactions — particularly in blockchain.
Visa’s global technology chief Rajat Taneja, had said as much last year, stating that Visa’s India centre would play a key role as far as blockchain and its development was concerned.
Well, for issues related to real currency and money you need bankers, but when its the development of virtual currencies such as bitcoin, you must turn to developers. Meanwhile, Fintech startups in the country — which are relatively few in numbers — probably stand to benefit from the APIs churned out by Visa in its bid to facilitate easy payment solutions.
Commenting on Visa’s expansion plans, TR Ramachandran, group country manager for India and South Asia at Visa, said
We are up to 750 people now (at the new centre). We do two-three things here, including Visa developer platforms, global products, etc. This is not an outsourced centre — there is some very cool developer work that is going on here. The aim is to get it up to 1,000 people over the next 12-18 months. Our expectation is that there will be a lot of work that is done around our APIs.
The centre was opened last year in Bangalore and is part of the Bagamne World Technology Center, a 70-acre campus in the heart of the city. The teams working here are mainly tasked with making it easy for application developers to access Visa’s 400 payment products and services and consequently integrating them with their own payment solutions.
Speaking at the time of the inauguration Charlie Scharf, Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc had said,
Our new centre in Bangalore, which complements others planned for Singapore and the U.S., will help Visa to accelerate the development of next generation payment solutions that enable secure, digital commerce through connected devices like mobile phones, PCs, tablets and even cars.
So yes, the company certainly seems to be harbouring ambitious plans for the future and its Bangalore centre stands poised to play a key strategic role. Reading between the lines of the fact that the centre would also be deeply involved in the development of blockchain, it seems like virtual currency may also play a particularly significant role in the future of payments.
Meanwhile, even as the mysterious founder of Bitcoins played hide and seek with the world, it is increasingly being replaced by blockchain, the technology actually behind it, as the main interest of FinTech institutions and investors. Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain Technologies at International Business Machines Corp, aptly summed it up when he said that,
If there is a 100 percent opportunity in the blockchain, bitcoin, or the currency, is only 1 percent of it.
The niche is probably going to see a lot of upheavals in the coming years, and Visa, with its cutting-edge technology centres, is of course wanting to stay on top of them.