" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Visa to open state-of-the-art Innovation Center in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sunday, February 05, 2023
Saltedge Report

Visa to open state-of-the-art Innovation Center in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Visa (NYSE: V), the world’s leader in digital payments, has announced plans to open a state-of-the art Innovation Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The facility, that will be operational by the end of 2023, is being built with the vision of becoming the Kingdom’s innovation hub for next-generation payment solutions and experiences. It will be the latest addition to Visa’s expanding global innovation network.

The opening of a new world-class innovation facility in Visa’s GCC regional hub office continues Visa’s long-standing investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its joint efforts with local partners to advance digital commerce. The Innovation Center will allow partners to access world-leading payment technologies to co-create local solutions that can be used in the Kingdom and exported around the world cementing Saudi Arabia’s role as a catalyst for innovation.

The new creative space will feature virtual reality, biometrics and Internet-of-Things applications and will be staffed by Visa innovation and technology experts. The Center will include a specialist focus on developing innovations for governments, financial institutions, fintechs and businesses, that will span areas including data, loyalty, disbursements, remittances, business-to-business payments and more.

Andrew Torre, Visa’s Regional President for the CEMEA region, said: “The rapid acceleration of digital payments has helped establish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a global leader in driving the future of commerce and money movement. We are excited to be able to deepen our investment in Saudi Arabia with an Innovation Center that will help push the boundaries of innovation and creativity further. We look forward to working with partners to develop next generation solutions that will benefit individuals, businesses and governments in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

H.E. Dr. Fahad Almubarak, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank said “The ambitious plan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be among the top ten countries in the Global Competitiveness Index is one of the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Visa’s announcement today is indicative of the conducive environment that Saudi Arabia provides the global business community. We are happy to see that companies like Visa are committed to our economic transformation agenda and to develop local Saudi talents. Saudi Arabia is moving towards achieving its goals to become a less-cash society having reached 57% cashless payment of all consumer payments in 2021. In the first half of 2022, payments executed using NFC technology by individuals exceeded 96% of total POS transactions.

As part of these continuous efforts, Saudi Arabia is focused on increasing public and private partnerships and keen on building an innovative talent pool that supports efforts in both; developing the local capabilities that can support the needs of our financial and government communities and exporting the best of our solutions globally. We’re confident these efforts will ultimately contribute to the successful implementation of our financial sector development initiatives and achieve global competitiveness to make Saudi Arabia a global fintech hub”

H.E. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said “Saudi Arabia as the largest digital economy in the region with more than $40B committed to empower youth and women, grow the digital economy and shape new frontiers fueled by digital and innovation. Visa’s Innovation Center is the type of investment we welcome, and we look forward to seeing Visa bring the best of their global technology and innovation expertise to accelerate the digital economy of the Saudi Arabia and MENA region.”

Visa’s global network of innovation centers were first formed in San Francisco in 2014 and have delivered hundreds of innovations being used around the world today. Visa has previously used existing innovation hubs to design products for the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region, including multi-currency products, facial payments, acceptance solutions for SMBs, and new pay on delivery solutions to enhance the eCommerce experience.

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