Technology

Visa seeks to boost SMBs in Latin America through Visa Everywhere Initiative 2020

The initiative asks fintechs and startups to present their innovative solutions to boost the economic recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises and the urban mobility sector in the region

Contactless technology by Visa is available in the Rio de Janeiro's subway. Photo: Visa.
  • Visa releases the latest edition of the initiative that aims at bringing fintechs and startups to present their innovative solutions to boost the economic recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • This edition’s purpose will also address payment solutions for the urban mobility sector in the region.

In partnership with Finnovista, Visa launches the fourth edition of Visa Everywhere Initiative, as announced this Thursday in a company press release. The goal is to bring fintechs and startups to present, until June 30, their innovative solutions to boost the economic recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises and the urban mobility sector in the region.

“In times of crisis and isolation, digitization becomes an urgent need for SMEs and consumers. At Visa, we support new business models capable of solving today’s challenges. The collaboration with Latin American startups that innovate in this segment and the improvement of public transport payment solutions are fundamental measures for the recovery of Latin American companies,” says Arnoldo J. Reyes, vice president of Digital Alliances, Fintech and Entrepreneurship Visa for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In this edition, Visa is looking for fintechs and startups in stages of scale and growth, capable of driving innovation and improving the digital payments ecosystem in the region, in order to support and accelerate the economic recovery of SMEs in the short and long term. “Visa intends to help the small business, regardless of whether its operation is virtual or physical, with technological solutions that offer, among other things, mobile and proximity payments, greater accessibility to electronic commerce, POS loans, liquidity mechanisms, reward programs or loyalty to your customers or easier management of your banking services, as well as digital payments for your customers,” the company says.

“Another key point for the recovery of cities in the region at a time when they are preparing for the resumption, is urban mobility, which will undoubtedly change significantly,” Visa states. The second challenge will call on startups to help improve the payment experience in public transport in cities across LAC.

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“Fintechs in Latin America and the Caribbean have learned to take advantage of the social demand for new technologies applied to financial activities for years. In Mexico, the latest edition of Fintech Radar confirms that 441 startups operate in the sector. In Colombia, this type of enterprise has grown by 26% in one year and already has 200 startups, which demonstrates the talent of the region to offer innovative solutions to Latin American SMEs,” explains Andrés Fontao, co-founder and managing partner of Finnovista.

According to a survey conducted by Visa Business Solutions with SMEs in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia in May, 83% had a reduction in their activity since the beginning of the pandemic. Payment of payroll, followed by rent debt or property financing where the company is installed were featured as the most urgent concern. The survey also indicated that SMEs in the region are well digitized when it comes to making digital banking transactions (87%) and using social media channels (97%) when communicating with customers. But when it comes to digital payments, however, the penetration is significantly lower, as only one-third of SMEs have a POS terminal and 20% of retail SMEs sell online.

“Visa Everywhere Initiative was a turning point for Flexio. The company went from being a promise in the Latin American fintech world to becoming a consolidated company, with regional reach and supported by one of the most powerful brands in the world: Visa. VEI and Finnovista connected us with the Visa team that quickly put us in contact with their partners so that we could expand our business exponentially,” added Flexio, a Mexican startup that offers installment loans for online purchases using a debit card. Flexio was the winner of the latest edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC.