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Fostering Innovation and Collaboration: A Recap of the Visa Innovation Program Europe Spain Summit

January 24, 2024

Ahmet Torlar

Fostering Innovation and Collaboration: A Recap of the Visa Innovation Program Europe Spain Summit

In the heart of Madrid, at the vibrant Espacio Rastro, the fintech community witnessed a pivotal event that marked a new era in financial technology innovation. The Visa Innovation Program Europe Spain Summit, held on January 23, 2024, brought together the brightest minds and most innovative solutions in the fintech sector.

The aim of this prestigious summit was multifaceted. It served as a graduation platform for the 2nd batch of the Visa Innovation Program Europe Spain Edition, showcasing how these emerging fintechs have leveraged their unique products and services to transform the payments ecosystem potentially. More than just a ceremony, the event was a confluence of ideas, insights, and inspirations, offering unparalleled opportunities for networking, collaboration, and discovery. Entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders converged with a common goal: to support and accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies that redefine the payment experience for consumers and businesses. We extend our deepest gratitude to all participants whose contributions made this event a milestone in fostering fintech innovation and collaboration.

The Visa Innovation Program Europe, which is powered by Hackquarters by Tenity, Finnovating, and Fintech Solutions in Spain, is an equity-free pilot-centered collaboration platform spanning Europe. The program enables fintechs to solve tomorrow's payment and commerce challenges, further enhance their product propositions, and provide visionary solutions for Visa's vast network of partners. The program appeals to fintech targeting to unlock new payment flows, advance next-gen payment experiences, empower SMEs, and build a smarter and sustainable future and embedded finance. With 111 applications received for Spain and Portugal this year, the program shortlisted 15 promising fintechs, ultimately selecting 8 to reshape the financial landscape.

Since 2022, the program has witnessed a remarkable journey. It has received 227 applications, meticulously shortlisting 27 and selecting 14 for the program. In addition, the program has facilitated over 30 mentorship sessions and 24+ hours of training and workshops. These sessions have nurtured the participating fintechs, providing them with invaluable guidance, expertise, and insights to refine their products and strategies.

The event started with welcoming remarks from Kaan Akın, VP of New Markets, Hackquarters by Tenity. Akın, known for his passion for innovation and his role in nurturing the fintech ecosystem, welcomed all attendees warmly. His speech highlighted the accomplishments of the Visa Innovation Program Europe and its impact in encouraging groundbreaking fintech solutions.

Following Akın, Eduardo Prieto, Country Manager, Visa Spain, took the stage to shed light on Visa's global impact in the fintech sector. Prieto's talk delved into how Visa connects businesses and drives change worldwide. He shared insights into Visa's commitment to innovation and its role in shaping the future of payments and commerce.

Prieto's message was clear: fintech innovation is not just about technology; it's about creating connections and building a network that supports and enhances the global economy. His talk set the stage for the day's discussions, focusing on the power of collaboration and the endless possibilities that emerge when traditional financial institutions and fintech startups come together.

The Oldest, The Youngest

A standout session was the fireside chat titled "The Oldest, The Youngest," moderated by Eva Ruiz of Visa and featuring Andrea Tessera from Sella. This conversation explored the intersection of traditional banking and fintech innovation. Key points discussed included Sella's approach to innovation, their active engagement with the startup ecosystem, and how traditional banking is evolving in response to fintech advancements. Tessera shared insights into Sella's collaborative efforts with fintechs and how these partnerships reshape the financial landscape.

Best Practices and Success Cases from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Alumni

Another highlight was a panel on the best practices and success stories from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Alumni. Elena Tamarit from Visa and Juan Guruceta from Divilo offered insights into the journey of fintech startups within the program. They discussed how participation in the program has shaped Divilo's product strategies and business models, emphasizing the transformative impact of collaboration and mentorship.

Fintech Unleashed: AI-Driven Data Enrichment and Fraud Prevention

A key panel discussion titled "Fintech Unleashed: AI-Driven Data Enrichment and Fraud Prevention" featured Kaan Akın, Maksim Hardziyenak from goscore, and João Moura from Fraudio. This session delved into the innovative use of AI in fintech, focusing on enhancing credit scoring and combating fraud. The panelists discussed how AI technology is revolutionizing how fintechs approach data analysis and fraud prevention, offering insights into their own experiences and the broader implications for the industry.

Fintech Pioneers: Employee Benefits, B2B Wallets, and Embedded Financial Services

The summit also included a panel on "Fintech Pioneers: Employee Benefits, B2B Wallets, and Embedded Financial Services," moderated by Melihcan Yücel from Visa. This discussion featured Eduardo Gaspar from Coverflex, Veljko Vasic from HolyWally, and Michael Galvin from Toqio. The panelists shared their experiences developing innovative fintech solutions, discussing the challenges and opportunities in employee benefits, B2B wallets, and embedded financial services. They highlighted how these solutions reshape business operations and enhance customer experiences in the fintech sector.

The Future of Business: AI-Driven Data Enrichment, Sustainable HR, and Enhanced Customer Loyalty

One of the key sessions focused on "The Future of Business," emphasizing the role of AI in data enrichment, the importance of sustainable HR practices, and strategies for enhancing customer loyalty. This session brought together David Hernández from Visa, Germán Lahera from Dedomena AI, Ignacio Barriendos Hoppichler from DoGood People, and Pablo Molinero from Reveni. Each speaker shared their unique perspective on how AI and other digital technologies transform business operations and customer experiences.

Another significant discussion was the "Powering Partnerships - Insights from the Corporate Frontline" panel. This session featured a dynamic conversation between Rodrigo Garcia de la Cruz from Finnovating, Álvarez Fernández from Minsait, Jaime Grau Ullastres from Telefonica, and Jesus Martin from Adyen. The panelists provided their perspectives on how traditional financial institutions adapt to technological advancements and collaborate with fintech startups. They discussed the importance of partnerships in driving innovation and growth.

These sessions not only provided a glimpse into the current innovations in fintech but also painted a picture of the future, where AI, sustainability, and strong partnerships will play crucial roles in shaping the financial services industry.

Meet the Fintechs

Coverflex: is a flexible compensation solution that enables companies to aggregate the management of compensation beyond salary. Coverflex is remodelling compensation, starting with benefits and building an all-in-one platform for any company to personalise benefits and rewards.

Dedomena AI: accelerates time-to-data and time-to-insight through its AI-powered platform that generates synthetic data and provides data enrichment capabilities. This unlocks access to unlimited high-quality data, allowing data-driven companies to improve performance and hasten development and deployment, by providing valuable insights and make more informed decisions.

DoGood People: Their software enhances sustainability culture. It measures the ESG impact of employees by completing challenges related to the SDGs. The challenges encourage sustainable behavior and enable individuals to make more informed decisions.

Fraudio: provides AI/ML fraud detection solutions for players in the payments ecosystem. With easy-to-integrate and scalable technology, it delivers fast and effective transaction monitoring and fraud detection, allowing businesses to reduce chargebacks and comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Goscore: offers cross-border credit scoring and fair risk profiles to help lenders assess creditworthiness accurately using Open Banking data and ML. By analyzing the consumers' financial behavior, goscore provides lenders with a real-time comprehensive financial profile, enabling them to cherry-pick sustainable customers with an intuitive and 100% automated platform.

HolyWally: is a B2B white-label wallet-as-a-service platform that enables faster time to market and a tailored experience for customers of account and card issuers. HolyWally delivers unique value through a growing partner network and a no-code Wallet Builder interface. Capabilities include card tokenization through VTS, tap-to-pay, digital receipt, and merchant-funded offers.

Reveni: transforms the ecommerce post-purchase experience, leveraging returns to increase customer loyalty and sustainability. They offer instant refunds and exchanges with no risk for merchants, resulting in higher repurchase rates and increased sales for businesses.

Toqio: is the embedded finance platform that enables businesses to integrate financial products and services into new or existing customer journeys. The platform offers a comprehensive toolkit for integrating financial products and managing various services, including lending, core banking, ERPs, CRM, and more. Toqio makes embedding financial products simple so you can focus on your core business.

The Visa Innovation Program Europe is a beacon for fintech innovation, offering a platform for startups to showcase their solutions, connect with industry leaders, and gain invaluable insights. As the program grows, it will continue to play a crucial role in the evolution of the fintech sector, supporting the development of cutting-edge technologies and business models.
Stay tuned for future editions of the Visa Innovation Program Europe!