Visa today is announcing a set of software tools aimed at helping banks and other financial-services companies build new payment platforms, such as on-demand digital credit accounts, mobile wallets, and shared accounts.
In an acknowledgement of the growing importance of so-called “transactional super apps”–country-specific platforms that bundle a number of services including payments, ride-hailing, communications, and more–Visa says its new capabilities could enable consumers to instantly port their super app balances to a digital card that could be used worldwide. The technology could enable a user of India’s Swiggy, for example, to make digital payments in the U.S., where such apps are virtually unheard of.
(Fast Company earlier this year ranked two of the biggest super app companies, China’s Meituan Dianping and Singapore-based Grab, as No. 1 and No. 2 on our annual list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies, noting that “Meituan and Grab—and the companies emulating them globally, from Swiggy in India to Rappi, in Latin America—are leapfrogging ahead to build a new model for the service economy for billions of people.”)
In an interview, Sam Shrauger, Visa’s senior vice president, global issuer and consumer solutions, says the new tools are aimed ultimately at allowing consumers more flexibility in how they make payments. Issuers and digital-only “neobanks” could develop products that allow consumers to easily toggle among paying with credit, a prepaid balance, or loyalty points. Visa, he says, is “helping reimagine how money is used in a digital age.”