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Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022 Invites CEMEA Fintech And Payment Startups To Showcase Their Solutions On A Global Stage The program is on the lookout for startups with products that offer payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses.

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The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global innovation program, is inviting fintech and payments startups across the Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region to present their products and solutions to gain exposure and access to Visa's network, as well as a total of US$45,000 in prize money. In addition, finalists will also gain exposure to fintech stakeholders across banking, merchant, VC and government sectors.

Launched in 2015, the VEI program has helped startups from over 100 countries raise more than $2.5 billion in funding, with its network including 8,500 startups worldwide. Each year, the competition's focus grows to engage with distinct startups solving various issues. This year, the competition has also included startup using cryptocurrency and Visa Direct, a payment service that facilitates fund transfers by Visa's client financial institutions.

The global competition will select the top five regional finalists in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and CEMEA. For the CEMEA region, five finalists will be selected, wherein one spot is reserved for an Egyptian startup and one spot is reserved for a Saudi Arabian startup. Afterwards, each region will select a winner that will move forward to the global finals event. Finalists from across the world will convene for the global VEI finals in Qatar this November 2022, wherein up to $170,000 in total prize money will be up for grabs.

As part of the competition, Visa will not acquire any equity from the VEI competitors.

Wade Arnold, CEO of Moov, global winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative 2021

The program is on the lookout for startups with products that offer payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses. It is open to a wide array of startups in the fintech space, such as startups in crowdfunding, banking-as-a-service, alternative lending, personal financial management, money transfer and remittance, digital banking, digital wallets, insurtech, payment infrastructures, retail technology, and more.

"Fintechs and other payments innovators are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access the money they need when they need it- and the pandemic has seen this become more critical than ever," said Shahebaz Khan, Visa's General Manager for UAE, Bahrain and Oman, in a release. "Supporting companies who are building solutions that power seamless money movement everywhere is a top priority for Visa. We are delighted to be bringing Visa Everywhere Initiative to UAE and I look forward to seeing the many brilliant ideas this year."

Applications are now open, until April 4, 2022. For more information, check out the website here.

Related: Entrepreneur Middle East and Fintech Saudi Release A Special Report On The Fintech Industry In Saudi Arabia

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