On May 23-24, the semi-final of the Visa Everywhere Initiative contest (hereinafter - VEI) was held in Fintech Hub of the Astana International Financial Centre Astana (hereinafter - AIFC). 34 teams from Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Singapore participated in the semifinal. 21 teams selected to the final round.
All VEI participants get a chance to implement their developments and ideas in cooperation with Visa or its partners - banks, insurance companies, mobile operators. Program partners were Alfa Bank, Beeline, Centras Insurance, Halyk Bank, Wooppay, Forte Bank, KPMG, Kazpost, Al Hilal Bank, etc.
“Half of the startup applications are from very young companies that are less than 1 year old. This suggests that young teams and startups are trying to change the financial industry and create new services. From the AIFC, we can offer registration in the sandbox for testing innovations, work within the framework of English law, accommodation in our coworking, consulting and mentoring support. And we are developing the Fintech Hub of the AIFC precisely as a centre of attraction for young Fintech talents," - noted AIFC CEO Nurlan Kussainov.
“The Visa Everywhere Initiative project has been successfully running for four years in 75 countries of the world and this year we are pleased to hold it for the first time in Central Asia,” - said Vera Platonova, Senior Vice President and Director of the Visa regional unit in the CIS and South-Eastern Europe. “Every time, launching this program in a new region, we strive to attract talented startups with incredible ideas in the field of payments that will solve many business problems, bring the quality of customer service to a new level and significantly affect the culture of innovation in general.”
VEI is a global Visa program to support Fintech startups, which is held for the first time in Central Asia, in partnership with the AIFC. During the 1.5 months of application process from mid-March till end of April, 93 applications were submitted for participation in the VEI program in areas from financial literacy to artificial intelligence. Applications submitted projects at the idea stage, as well as projects ready to implement. During June, the teams will actively work with mentors to prepare their projects for the final, which will be held at the beginning of July within the framework of the Astana Finance Days at the AIFC.
For the first time, the Visa Everywhere Initiative has launched in 2015 and during this time more than 4,000 startups took part in the program, 220 finalists received mentorship support, and 70 winners received prizes totaling more than $1 million. Today, VEI startups have attracted more than $ 2.5 billion in investment.