UAE Payment Tech Startup Qpal Is Winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative MENA
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UAE-based Qpal, a tech startup that has developed a mobile payments solution to enable quicker and cashless purchases at events, has emerged the winner of Visa's Everywhere Initiative in MENA- a global program by Visa to discover next generation payment tech. Qpal beat 12 other finalists selected from a total of 190 entrants to emerge as winners of Visa’s first-ever MENA edition of the Everywhere Initiative, and won a US$50,000 award- as winner of both the “Acceptance Challenge,” and the overall prize. Qpal also gets an opportunity to work at Visa’s Innovation Center in Dubai to refine their concept with the guidance of the VISA team.
Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is aimed at discovering the next big thing in payments tech across three business challenges. These include Acceptance challenge- enabling electronic payments and e-commerce solutions among small merchants, Airport Transit- transforming transit experience at airports, and Loyalty challenge- tech that helps build customer loyalty. Swvl, an Egypt-based shuttle service tech platform won the Airport Transit challenge and $25,000. Bebuzzd, another UAE-based startup, a consumer loyalty app, won the Loyalty challenge and a $25,000 award.
"It was a really forward-thinking initiative run by Visa for the Middle East region, [and it was] great to be a part of its inception,” says Craig Buchan, founder & CEO, Qpal, about the experience. Among the other technology solutions that pitched at the challenge, Buchan believes Qpal stood out as a team that explained what they can do for Visa in the collaboration. “For sure, as a partner we’ll expect support along the way, but with a subtle difference in tone we made it crystal clear how big an opportunity the live events industry was for Visa, and we made it feel as though they could put their feet up, relax and know that Qpal will deliver results over time- which we will.”
Shiv Singh, SVP - Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Visa, said in a statement, “The future of digital payments will be shaped through collaboration, and we look forward to working with our startup partners to transform the payments landscape over the coming years to the benefit of consumers, merchants and issuers alike.” According to Visa, nearly 1,500 fintech startups across the globe have been part of the Everywhere Initiative till date.