Visa opens innovation centre in Singapore, its first in Asia

Global payment technology provider Visa Inc. has opened its innovation centre in Singapore, its first in Asia.

“It’s a big day for us, it’s a big day for Singapore,” said Ryan McInerney, President at VISA, at the official launch this morning.

As the world becomes increasingly focussed on being mobile-first, the company finds that it is important to look at the way people interact with their devices to see how it can get involved with the conversation.

“Increasingly the point of sale is moving from a storefront to our pocket,” McInerney added.

The company plans to open new innovation centres in other regions later this year and in 2017.

The 7,000 square foot centre comes equipped with technologists and business executives and access to Visa APIs and software developer kits. These features  include the ability to activate location based alerts, show transaction history, let users redeem points and rewards in real time, locate nearby ATMs, and more.

The company noted that many of the employees at the innovation centre are new hires brought in to create the next generation of commerce applications. It did not specify how many employees there are at the innovation centre, but shared that Visa hires over a thousand people in its offices in Singapore, managing both operations in Singapore and Asia Pacific.

“The pace of technological innovation across Asia Pacific is unprecedented and creating enormous opportunity for any company that touches the growing payment ecosystem,” said Chris Clark, Group Executive, Asia Pacific, Visa, in a statement.

Clark continued, “With the doors of the innovation centre in Singapore now officially open, we look forward to working alongside clients and partners to imagine and build the creative and leading-edge mobile and digital experiences Asia Pacific is known to deliver to the rest of the world.”

Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) also said in a speech that the government entity is trying to “position Singapore as the Digital Capital of Asia” across sectors, and that it sees a big opportunity in the financial technology industry for Visa.

“Singapore, under the leadership of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has embarked on a journey to build a Smart Financial Centre, where technology will be used pervasively to increase efficiency, better manage risks, and create new opportunities,” added Beh in his speech.

The EDB and MAS, together with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), was reported to have launched a FinTech Office and promote Singapore as a hub for financial technology.

In an interaction with reporters while in New York, Ravi Menon, the head of MAS, also said that Singapore will only regulate fintech firms when they pose risks.

Beh added that he believes Singapore can be the ‘lighthouse’ for the commercialisation of new solutions before they are scaled globally.

Also Read: 

Visa, AIBIM lures regional fintech startups for Islamic finance innovations

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.