Written by: Lindsey Boycott
Visa’s (NYSE: V) fast-track program is creating a furor amongst its fintech clients as firms scramble to find digital payment options in a pandemic-fueled world.
Intended as a way to expedite the process of onboarding these firms to the payment giant’s system, the company can shrink down a year-long undertaking into just a few weeks. As it turns out, small businesses looking for a digital payment channel is lucrative - a potential $185 trillion market.
The program was launched in June 2018 and was originally available to foreign companies looking to expand into the United States. The initiative helped these organizations set up payment stacks before opening up shop on North American shores. In a short eleven months, the Fast Track program has grown 280 percent with 140 fintechs now participating in the program.
Like many things happening in the world right now, the novel coronavirus is shaping the way this program is evolving. Companies are scrambling to set up digital-payment options as many states still have some form of shelter-in-place legislation in place. While it will benefit the businesses, Visa might enjoy the biggest payoff.
“If we just work with fintechs who are converting cash into digital forms of payment, we would double the Visa payment volume,” Angelos said. “We’re very interested in finding and working with fintechs who are converting cash to digital forms of payment. “
The program provides turnkey access to Visa’s ecosystem of payment partners, APIs, digital education, and expert advice for fintechs. Application processes that once involved navigating Visa’s byzantine bureaucracy have now transformed into a streamlined system now completely accessible online. Some of the credit company’s partners include Stripe, Marqeta, and Very Good Security – all tech platforms that can help fintechs get up and running.
“We’ve put together all of the technology companies that you need to go live,” Angelos said. “We vet them and we help create a standardized commercial agreement so that fintechs can choose which partner they want to work with and then very quickly get online,” he added.
The program has meant a new kind of innovator is being welcomed into Visa’s wings. There are female-founded fintechs, digital currency wallets, consumer-focused firms and B2B providers. Some of the programs newest participants include woman-led Airwallax, gogo, Getter, and Kikoff. Visa also added virtual fund firms to their ranks, including Fold, Genesis Block and Trust Token.
Visa is a leader in digital payment solutions and its global network can process up to 65,000 transaction messages per second. The firm is driving innovation in the payments industry to bring large company capabilities to small business around the world.