Interview with Michael Hoffmann – How does Visa cooperate with startups?
This year, Visa supports the Innovators‘ Pitch as cross section partner and they are also part of the Travel & Tourism jury. We talked to jury member Michael Hoffmann about how Visa cooperate with startups and about their expectations for our path-breaking startup competition on November 28 at hub.berlin.
How does Visa drive innovation? How does Visa cooperate with startups?
In 2016, digital payments surpassed cash globally for the first time, as consumers and businesses are drawn to the convenience of digital payments. Visa’s mission is enab
ling digital payments – unconstrained by wired infrastructure and on any connected device. Visa’s global network of innovation centers are an important part of this mission. Our centers and smaller design hubs foster innovation by enabling our clients to collaborate and engage with Visa developers, innovation partners, start-ups and product specialists, helping to develop the next generation of commerce experiences for consumers, merchants and businesses around the globe. In Europe, in addition to our innovation centre in London, Visa is also developing a number of satellite centres based around particular FinTech & start-up hotspots. We are strengthening our innovation hubs in Berlin and Tel Aviv to create centres of excellence for design thinking, as well as identifying and incubating new commerce solutions. We thereby ensure our clients and partners can create and deploy new commerce experiences that seamlessly incorporate secure digital payments with the same level of reliability, interoperability and security that everyone expects from us.
You are cross section partner of the Innovators‘ Pitch 2017. What do you expect from the event?
We are looking forward to seeing some exciting new use cases, where we can add value through Visa’s innovation capabilities, our partnership network and of course our payment solutions. Especially relevant to us is how and which customer needs can be addressed in new ways– and, of course, how the payment process is supporting this. Visa’s objective is to always be part of the solution – in a world where digital payments will become more seamless and even invisible. Furthermore, we are always striving to identify new potential partnerships to engage in and to explore new opportunities.
What are the current challenges for payment technologies in the field of our categories Digital Health, IoT, Travel & Tourism?
For Visa, it is a great opportunity to include digital payments in new business areas and solutions – be it IoT, Travel & Tourism, you name it – and to make the payment process a seamless and frictionless experience for customers globally. However, innovation around payment is happening rapidly in dorm rooms, garages and coffee shops, as well as large, multinational enterprises. The new pace of innovation requires the ability to collaborate with partners, so we are making Visa more open. We have transformed our proprietary technology network, VisaNet, into the world’s largest open commerce platform. The Visa Developer Platform provides application developers with access to VisaNet, as well as our products, services and technology via Application Protocol Interfaces (APIs) — a virtual sandbox that allows anyone to transform great ideas into new commerce experiences on top of a most-trusted and proven payment network.
IBM and Visa for example are working together to allow businesses to introduce secure payment experiences throughout the IoT, making wearables, appliances and other connected devices potential points of sale. We are now also partnering with Fitbit and Garmin to allow their new smartwatches to make contactless payments on the go. In the travel segment, Transport for London has successfully introduced contactless and mobile Visa payments. Exciting new cooperations are currently underway with Visa transit payments bringing real benefits to commuters and transit operators. And we are working intensively on connected car and connected plane pilots with our global partners to provide them with frictionless connected payment solutions.