Not wanting to be left out of the digital payments market, Visa, the credit card issuer, has expanded its Fast Track program for financial technology startups that are innovating in the payments market.
In late July Visa said it is bringing the FastTrack program to the U.S. in an effort to speed up the process of integrating with the credit card giant. Through the program, startups get to more easily access the capabilities and security of VisaNet, its global payment networks, resulting in faster time to market for the fintech companies.
“In markets across the world, Visa has successfully rolled out the Fast Track program, linking arms with fintechs to provide a clear path towards getting to market, leveraging Visa’s scale, security, reach and strong network of partners,” said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech, Visa said in a press release announcing the expansion of the program. “By launching Fast Track in the U.S., we are continuing our support for fintechs across the globe, with the goal of accelerating the growth of digital payments and creating better ways to move money everywhere.”
Visa said in order to bring FastTrack to the U.S. it collaborated with companies that are providing payment services whether its card issuance, push payments integration, payment card industry compliance and anti-money laundering support. Alloy, BBVA Open Platform, Cross River Bank, Galileo, Green Dot, Marqeta, Netspend (TSYS’ Consumer Segment), Stripe, TabaPay, TSYS, Q2, and Very Good Security are all part of the program. The FastTrack program is already up and running in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Visa credits the program with propelling fintech services around the world.
The move to bring its FastTrack program to the U.S. comes at a time when the digital payments market is starting to heat up. While making payments via a smartphone or contactless credit card is hugely popular overseas in places like the UK and China, the U.S. has been slower to adopt the new technology. With tons of financial technology companies launching seemingly every day, venture capitalists are busy pouring money into the effort. According to Visa, financial technology companies raised $39.6 billion from investors last year, marking a worldwide increase of 120% from 2017. Given the interest of VCs in the marketplace, Visa said as part of the U.S. launch of Fast Track it's working with leading VC firms to automatically qualify their startup companies for the program. Some of the VC partners include Andreessen Horowitz, Nyca Partners, Ribbit Capital, and Trinity Ventures.
“Speed is essential for fintech startups, particularly in the early stages. Easier access to the kind of infrastructure provided by Visa’s Fast Track program will help unlock massive amounts of innovation in the payments ecosystem,” said Schwark Satyavolu, General Partner, Trinity Ventures in the same press release. “We are looking forward to introducing our companies to Visa as they continue pushing forward digital innovation in the payments landscape.”