Malta’s Fintech Ecosystem Finds New Support Thanks To The Visa Innovation Programme Europe


By Ally Stivala

A global world leader in digital payments, Visa has just announced the extension of the Visa Innovation Programme Europe in Malta.

What is the Visa Innovation Programme Europe?

The programme is designed to help early stage Fintech scale-up and supercharge their value proposition, while engaging with Visa, its clients and partners.

This project is present in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Spain. This fintech pilot-centered collaboration platform has been partnering since 2018 with early-stage venture capital fund Eleven Ventures and open innovation accelerators Crowdpolicy and Hackquarters.

The platform offers its participants access to Visa’s markets, clients and products, investor networking, international visibility, and industry mentoring.

How can one apply for the programme?

With Open Call expected to launch in March 2023, Fintech in Malta will be able to submit their applications to be part of the 2023 edition cohort.

The awarded candidates will become part of the Visa Innovation Programme Europe, which during the following 6 months will support their growth, providing them with access to training resources, mentoring, and investors.

They will also be able to tap into a network of proof-of-concept partners such as banks, e-money institutions, merchants, and other high-profile organizations, to test and validate their propositions and reach the commercialization stage faster.

The programme already has five editions in four countries, more than 900 applicants, 72 selected Fintechs and 68 proofs of concept derived from Visa network partner introductions.

“We are excited to bring this program to Malta with our partners, demonstrating our continued investment in fintech talent in the markets where we operate the programmeme, and beyond. I’m incredibly proud to see how much the Visa Innovation programme has and continues to expand as an established regional programme across Europe and looking forward to welcoming the Fintech in Malta interested in becoming part of it,” VP and General Manager for Malta, Cyprus and Israel at Visa, Sevi Vassileva said. 

“Visa Innovation Program Europe continues to pave the way for the development of partnerships between startups, Visa and financial institutions, giving the chance to more fintech companies with the launch in Malta to flourish in a dynamic ecosystem with exciting opportunities and potential for fintech entrepreneurs,” Managing Director at Crowdpolicy, Michael Psalidas said.

Visa Innovation Programme Europe in numbers

Since its inception in 2018, the Visa Innovation Programme Europe has:

  • Opened hubs in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and Spain.
  • Evaluated over 900 applicants in 62 countries with 72 selected Fintechs.

They generated 70 proofs of concept thanks in large part to Visa network partner introductions.

To date, the Programme has delivered a total of 1,300 hours of mentoring .

The participating Fintech have entered 84 rounds of investment, receiving over €350 million in funding.

One of the first participants in the Programme, Payhawk, became a unicorn last year.

“We are determined to support collaborative innovation, which is a key enabler to building more inclusive economies and unlocking economic growth. Expanding further with Malta, we can now discover and empower more local fintech talents that will shape the future of payments and commerce in Europe,” Regional Managing Director Southern Europe at Visa, Bea Larregle ended.

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