Global payments technology company, Visa, is now accepting applications for start-ups to participate in the first cohort of the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program. The program is focused on startups operating in Africa and will run over 12 weeks twice a year with up to 20 startups per cohort.
Startups up to Series A stage are encouraged to apply through the Visa website for a chance to gain unparalleled expertise, valuable industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and potential investment funding. Applications will close on August 25th and the first cohort will be announced in September.
In line with Visa’s pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027, the accelerator aims to strengthen Africa’s payment ecosystem through innovations and technologies, focusing on digitizing economies, upskilling talent, and building capacity.
Plug and Play, the world’s leading innovation platform, will serve as the program partner for the Visa Africa Accelerator. Throughout the 12-week program, Plug and Play will deliver valuable content, facilitate access to mentors, arrange one-on-one coaching sessions, and connect startups with a global and regional network of investors.
The Visa Fintech Accelerator is looking for disruptive startups that operate and generate revenue within the African continent. Startups in the following five categories are encouraged to apply:
- Unlocking money movement: Digitizing various payment types (P2P, B2C, B2B, G2C) to create new commerce opportunities, including cross-border remittances and funds disbursements, open banking and account-to-account solutions, mobile money flows and interoperability.
- Embedded finance: Creating advanced intelligence to enhance payment and finance experiences in B2C and B2B commerce models, including installments, flexible financing, consumer loyalty, and Fintech-as-a-Service.
- Empowering merchants and SMEs: Accelerating the growth of merchants and SMEs through digital payment solutions to foster financial inclusion, focusing on next-generation omnichannel payments, digital onboarding, working capital optimization, and merchant value-add solutions.
- Payment infrastructure enablers: Building the base layer of payment infrastructure and key enabling services such as authentication and fraud solutions, digital onboarding and identity management, credit scoring and risk management solutions, and data solutions and insights
- The future of finance: Embracing emerging technologies to revolutionize financial services, such as AI-powered payments, blockchain and enterprise DLT, and programmable money.
- Sustainable and inclusive finance: Enhancing payments technology to contribute to an eco-friendly economy, drive inclusiveness, reduce inequality, and create positive impact through financial services for underserved communities or climate-vulnerable communities and affordable and accessible financial solutions
Commenting on the announcement, Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Partnerships and Digital Solutions for Visa CEMEA said, “Through the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator, Visa is committed to driving financial innovation, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting the growth of Fintech ecosystems across Africa. This accelerator represents a unique opportunity for Fintech startups to access invaluable resources, mentorship, and potential investment opportunities.”