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Innovative Pathways Unveiled: Highlights from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Portugal Summit

February 1, 2024

Ahmet Torlar

Innovative Pathways Unveiled: Highlights from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Portugal Summit

In the last week of January 2024, the fintech community converged at the Fintech House in Portugal for a pivotal event: The Visa Innovation Program Europe Portugal Summit. This gathering marked another meeting and a significant milestone in the journey of fintech innovation across Europe. The Portugal Summit was more than just a meeting. It was a celebration of fintech innovation, a recognition of the achievements of current participants, and a peek into the future of financial technology. At the summit, the fintechs had the chance to demonstrate how they leveraged their products and services within the program and their potential to transform the payments ecosystem. 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, powered by Hackquarters by Tenity, Finnovating, and Fintech Solutions in Portugal, 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, 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 role in nurturing the fintech ecosystem, welcomed all attendees warmly. His speech delved into the successes and objectives of the program, emphasizing its role as a catalyst for fintech innovation across Europe.

Following Akın, Gonçalo Santos Lopes, Country Manager, Visa Portugal, took the stage to shed light on Visa's global impact in the fintech sector. His speech highlighted Visa's dedication to fostering innovation in the fintech sector and the importance of such gatherings in driving the industry forward. He shared insights into Visa's commitment to innovation and its role in shaping the future of payments and commerce. 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 keynote speech, delivered by Meaghan Johnson, Founder of Digital Magss, was a highlight of the Visa Innovation Program Europe Portugal Summit. Johnson's speech focused on the burgeoning opportunities available for entrepreneurs in the fintech sector.

She emphasized the rapid evolution of financial technology and how it has opened doors for innovative solutions in payments, banking, and financial services. Johnson highlighted key trends driving the industry, including digital transformation, consumer behavior shifts, and regulatory changes, all creating a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures.

Johnson also shared insights on the importance of understanding customer needs, leveraging technology to meet these needs, and strategic partnerships' role in scaling fintech ventures.

Fintech Unleashed: B2B Wallets and Fair Credit Scoring

"Fintech Unleashed: B2B Wallets and Fair Credit Scoring" panel, moderated by Kaan Akın, featured Veljko Vasic from HolyWally and Maksim Hardziyenak from goscore. The discussion delved into the evolving landscape of business-to-business financial solutions and the importance of equitable credit scoring systems in fintech. The panelists explored how B2B wallets revolutionize business financial transactions, offering more efficient and streamlined processes. They also discussed the critical role of fair credit scoring, highlighting its impact on financial inclusion and the democratization of financial services. The conversation underscored the importance of these innovations in fostering a more equitable and efficient financial ecosystem.

The Future of Business: AI-Driven Data Enrichment, Enhanced Customer Loyalty, and Embedded Financial Services

The panel titled "The Future of Business: AI-Driven Data Enrichment, Enhanced Customer Loyalty, and Embedded Financial Services" offered significant insights into the role of AI in transforming the fintech industry. Moderated by Antonio Ferrao from Fintech Solutions, the panel featured Pablo Molinero from Reveni and Michael Galvin from Toqio. They discussed how AI-driven data enrichment revolutionizes customer insights, enabling businesses to offer more personalized and efficient services. The conversation also touched on the growing trend of embedded financial services and how these innovations enhance customer loyalty and reshape the financial services landscape.

This session provided a comprehensive view of the current and future impact of AI and embedded services in fintech, highlighting their potential to redefine the industry.

Fintech Pioneers: Ethical Employee Challenges, Sustainable HR, and Fraud Prevention

This panel was moderated by Sabina Babayeva from Hackquarters by Tenity and included Miguel Santo Amaro from Coverflex, Francisca Vieira Matias from DoGood People, and João Moura from Fraudio. The focus was on the ethical challenges faced by employees in the fintech sector, the role of sustainable HR practices, and innovative approaches to fraud prevention. The panelists shared their experiences and insights on how fintechs address these critical areas with responsible and advanced solutions. Each panel provided valuable knowledge and sparked discussions on the future direction of fintech, highlighting the innovative spirit that drives the sector. This session offered a comprehensive perspective on the fintech ecosystem's intersection of ethics, human resources, and security.

Visa Innovation Program Vision Panel

The Visa Innovation Program Vision Panel, featuring Eva Ruiz, Kaan Akın, and Antonio Ferrao, provided a comprehensive overview of the program's evolution and future direction.

Eva Ruiz initiated the discussion by detailing the program's origins, illustrating how it began to foster fintech innovation and has since grown into a significant force in the sector. Kaan Akın shared insights on the program's expansion over the years, highlighting some of the most successful cases and how they have shaped the program's trajectory.

Antonio Ferrao then took the conversation further by discussing the future vision of the program. He emphasized the importance of expanding into new regions and integrating more diverse fintech solutions, reflecting on how this growth aligns with the global vision of fostering innovative financial technologies.

The panel concluded with a unified outlook on the program's potential and role in shaping the fintech landscape in the coming years, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and collaboration.

Meet the Fintechs

Coverflex: is a flexible compensation solution that enables companies to aggregate the management of compensation beyond salary. Coverflex is remodeling compensation, starting with benefits and building an all-in-one platform for any company to personalize 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 making more informed decisions.

DoGood People: Their software enhances sustainability culture. It measures the ESG impact on 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 e-commerce 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!