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May 1, 2015

Visa eyes payments innovation in London

Card company opens research centre to create commercial technologies.

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Visa is set to open a payments innovation centre in London as it seeks to develop technologies to roll out across its service.

In its first year Visa Europe Collab will take 20 ideas and put them through 100 days of development, with the most viable concepts sent back to Visa for further work before commercial release.

Steve Perry, founder and co-creator of Visa Europe Collab, said: "It’s not about acquiring start-ups or buying stakes: instead, we’re giving Europe’s most innovative companies access to the mentoring, services and R&D of a community of likeminded organisations that want to transform the relationship citizens have with payments."

"We believe we can provide the glue that binds myriad stakeholders, such as innovators, banks, retailers, mobile operators and government together, to grow the ecosystem and ultimately deliver the best new payments services."

The design agency Seren, Cass Business School, and the rival innovation centre Digital Catapult have all joined a network of partners as part of the scheme, which is mooted to expand to Tel Aviv in Israel and Berlin in Germany at a later date.

In a similar move Visa will also expand its research and development activities under the aegis of former Google research scientist Min Wang, who also worked for HP and IBM in the past.

"Digital commerce is rapidly evolving due to the introduction of new technologies," said Rajat Taneja, EVP of technology at Visa. "As the world becomes more connected, every device, car, or appliance becomes a place where secure digital commerce can take place.

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"This effort has the potential to shape the way we pay and get paid in the future, and transform the lives of millions of unbanked consumers by finally providing them with access to secure digital commerce."

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