Visa Indonesia, a subsidiary of California-based payment systems provider Visa, opened on Wednesday applications for its Visa Everywhere Initiative competition, which is designed to crowdsource financial inclusion solutions from local financial technology (fintech) start-ups.
The competition “challenges” applicants to submit solutions for one of three issues: expanding financial access to the under-banked population, lowering cross-border remittance costs and improving trade and payment operations for local businesses.
President director Riko Abdurrahman told reporters in Jakarta that start-ups were not expected to submit a functioning product but, at the very least, a working concept that the company, if impressed, would help develop into a real product.
Applications are open until Aug. 2 at Kite (getkite.co/p/veiindonesia2019). Start-ups will be shortlisted and finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges in Bali on Sept. 12. The grand prize is Rp 350 million (US$24,753) and audience favorite prize Rp 75 million.
Both prizes are small for start-up funding. Even the grand prize’s dollar value is less than the usual minimum six-digit figure seed fund received by Indonesian start-ups from individual investors. From venture capital firms, seed funds reach up to seven digits.
Riko said Visa’s added value was that, “We train [start-ups] with not only our local resources but maybe even our global resources. As they work with us, they could also access our clients around the world. We have 15,600 clients worldwide."
Visa’s initiative was first launched in the US in 2015. The company has since expanded the program to over 75 countries, which include Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (bbn)