Visa (NYSE: V), the world’s leader in digital payments, hosted a gathering to welcome a select group of influential start-up founders in Pakistan, providing a platform to discuss and explore prominent prospects within the country’s fintech and start-up landscape. The gathering was hosted by Visa’s Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA), Andrew Torre, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan (NALP), Leila Serhan, and Country Manager for Pakistan Umar S Khan, reaffirming Visa’s commitment to Pakistan’s fintech and startup sector.
The event’s success was marked by the visionary founders showcasing innovative approaches to tackling commercial and customer-centric challenges. Start-ups in attendance included Chikoo, CreditBook, Dastgyr, Digikhata, Haball, Jazari, Kuickpay, MedzNMore, PostEx and Polly & Other Stories.
At the event, Andrew Torre also shared plans to bring Visa’s She’s Next program for the first time to Pakistan this year. She’s Next is focused on unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs and small business owners through grants, mentoring and networking opportunities. Since 2020, Visa has invested more than $2.2 million in over 200 grants and coaching for women SMB owners through the grant program globally, including in the US, Canada, India, the Middle East, and Ireland.
Andrew Torre, Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Visa, commented, “The dynamic nature of the Pakistan market is fueled by emerging fintech and startups who are revolutionizing the way consumers and businesses can access commerce. I was energized by my interactions with this inspiring community and our conversations on how Visa can work with them to enable convenient and accessible financial services for their customers. Visa is proud to be leading the conversation on how the startup and fintech community can help shape the future of money movement to expand access to underserved markets and regions and we remain committed to supporting and collaborating with Pakistani innovators to transform payments for individuals and businesses alike.”
The event built on Visa’s multi-year commitment to digitally-enable 50 million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide by the end of 2023, to support recovery from the pandemic. Thus far, Visa has enabled 41 million small and micro businesses worldwide.
Visa has historically worked closely with fintechs to touch just about every part of the payment’s ecosystem. Visa’s flagship initiatives such as the Fintech Fast Track Program and the Visa Everywhere Initiative, designed to pave the way for fintechs and start-ups to scale and unlock new opportunities have also achieved much success in Pakistan.