In June Bitcoin Magazine reported that the top three credit card companies – American Express, MasterCard and Visa – are exploring uses of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology. They can see the threat from blockchain fintech, and are considering ways to integrate selected aspects into their own operations. In related news reported in July, Visa participated in a funding round for Bitcoin-friendly payment processor Stripe, which valued Stripe at $5 billion.
Now it appears that Visa, the world’s largest payment network, will soon deploy a team of developers in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India, to use blockchain technology to improve its digital payments processes, Live Mint reports.
“For now, the focus of this technology innovation center will be on Visa Checkout and mVisa (Visa’s two new digital mobile payment products), but for certain, India will soon have teams that will jointly work with our two research labs in U.S. and Singapore in studying the many aspects of blockchain,” said Rajat Taneja, executive vice-president of technology at Visa.
Last week Visa announced the opening of its new technology development center in Bangalore, which will host 1,000 fintech engineers and play a central role in the company’s efforts to accelerate digital commerce globally. As part of the opening ceremonies, Visa announced mVisa, a new mobile payment service that will be tested this summer with merchants across the Bangalore region and with customers of Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and SBI (State Bank of India).
“India has fast become one of the world’s most important technology epicenters with an incredible pool of technology talent,” said Visa CEO Charlie Scharf. “Our new center in Bangalore, which complements others planned for Singapore and the U.S., will help Visa to accelerate the development of next-generation payment solutions that enable secure, digital commerce through connected devices like mobile phones, PCs, tablets and even cars.”
Considered the innovation hub of India, Bangalore, which was selected in November to host Visa’s technology center in that country, offers Visa the ability to attract world-class talent in a thriving community with world-class innovation centers and technology facilities.
Other Indian technology companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, have invested in blockchain technology. In fact, almost a third of the work done by Indian IT firms is for global banks, and many global banks are trying to jump on the blockchain bandwagon before it’s too late. Visa itself, which outsources part of its technology development to Infosys and other Indian firms, said it is open to working with some of them on blockchain-related developments.
In April Visa hired former Google scientist Min Wang to lead the research teams from its San Francisco office. “Digital commerce is rapidly evolving due to the introduction of new technologies,” said Taneja. “I am excited to expand our technology research efforts and have Min lead Visa Research Labs.”
Taneja added that Visa’s technology research effort has the potential to transform the lives of millions of unbanked consumers by finally providing them with access to secure digital commerce.