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Visa opens innovation center in Beijing

By Jiang Xueqing | | Updated: 2019-03-23 09:38
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Visa Inc unveils its China Innovation Center in Beijing on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Visa unveiled Friday its China Innovation Center in Beijing to encourage clients and partners – including banks, merchants and fintech companies – develop solutions for customer pain points.

Among a total of 13 Visa innovation centers globally, the new center is the second in Asia, coming after the one opened in Singapore in 2016.

Alfred F Kelly Jr, Visa CEO, said digital innovation is a top priority for Chinese economic development.

"This innovation center was specifically designed for fostering a wide range of co-creation engagements with clients and partners focused on the unique needs and characteristics of the continuously evolving Chinese payments market," Kelly said.

"Here in this place, we plan to further deepen our partnerships on payments technology with the best and the brightest minds in China. We hope that this space will be a place where great ideas become exciting new products for Chinese buyers and sellers of all sizes," he said.

At the center Visa will provide clients and partners with access to its payments technology, such as Visa application programming interfaces, through an open platform.

"With these digital and development platform capabilities, our employees can design, develop and test innovative digital and mobile products and solutions for China and eventually other markets around the world. These solutions will benefit Chinese consumers as well as international travelers coming to China," he said.

Along with sharing its innovation capabilities, Visa will also serve as a matchmaker among financial institutions, merchants and fintech companies.

The company will identify the role it can play in helping these partners solve problems, based on its payment security standards.

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., CEO of Visa Inc, delivers a speech at the unveiling ceremony of Visa's China Innovation Center in Beijing on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily

Kelly said Beijing is one of the fastest growing innovation centers in the world, and outlined his hopes that Visa can take the city one step further to becoming a world-class fintech center.

Yin Yong, vice-mayor of Beijing, attended the unveiling ceremony of the innovation center and said, "Since last year, China has adopted a host of measures to boost its further opening-up to the outside world, including orderly expanding the opening-up of the bank card clearing market. That has marked the entry into a new phase of openness for the financial sector in China."

As the only city in the country advancing a comprehensive pilot program expanding opening-up in the service sector, Beijing is well-positioned to enjoy unique preferential policies in financial openness, Yin said.

According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report, China ranked 46th among 190 economies on the ease of doing business, improving significantly on its ranking of 78th in 2018.

"We will do our best to provide even more enabling conditions for businesses in Beijing," Yin said.

The municipal government will give full support to leading financial talents, especially international experts, in various aspects such as work visas, residence permits, entry and exit, children's school enrollment, and healthcare, he added.

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