by George Nott

Aussie start-ups grab gongs in Visa API competition

Oct 07, 2016
Collaboration SoftwareFinancial Services IndustryRisk Management

Two Australian start-ups – one that adds location services and data analytics to websites and apps and another that gives retailers a one-step checkout that can be easily shared on social media – are among the winners of a Visa API competition.

At a public pitch competition last month, burgeoning businesses Proximiti and Persollo presented their responses to a call from the payments giant to use its APIs “to solve business challenges and bring new ideas to payments”.

The Australian start-ups won the Commercial Challenge and People’s Choice categories of Visa’s ‘Everywhere Initiative’ competition, which was held in partnership with Australian co-working space Tank Stream Labs and New Zealand business growth hub, The Icehouse.

Proximiti shared their solution which combines geofencing and BLE beacons to give context and analytics to digital interactions with customers received and received an A$15,000. Persollo, with which merchants can create a easily shareable, single page shopping basket took home A$5,000.

“Visa’s view is that co-creation between fintech and established players is how many of tomorrow’s payment experiences will be created,” said Stephen Karpin, group country manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. “Start-ups on both sides of the Tasman have put forward great ideas that we see as shaping the future of payments.”

Three New Zealand start-ups also took home prizes and together with their Australian counterparts will run pilots with Visa in coming months.

In February, Visa published more than 40 APIs “for every payment need” on its Visa Developer platform. The web portal also provides access to sandboxes, documentation and test data.

“We came to the view that there isn’t a single entity that can own all of the innovation in payments,” said Visa’s ANZ head of product Rob Walls. “We’ve been operating as a payment network for almost 60 years. Previously our network was fairly closed, only those who were financial institutions or merchants or tech companies, that were authorised to access it, were able to engage with us.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve seen disruption in many industries, we’ve seen organisations change the way they’re using technology. With with millions of developers around the world today, which is forecast to grow, the value really is going to come from co-creation.”