Visa, the global leader in electronic payments, will open an innovation centre in Dubai, UAE to provide its clients, and partners across the region with a facility to jointly develop the next generation of payments technology.
Dubai is Visa’s regional headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA). The new centre will help Dubai achieve its Smart City objectives, while also offering a platform for payments innovation across CEMEA, a statement said.
The announcement was made at the end of a two-day trip to the region by Visa’s chief executive officer Charles Scharf to meet industry representatives and UAE government officials.
“Visa is a long term investor in Dubai and the UAE. With this Innovation Centre announcement we are reinforcing the importance of this region to our business,” said Kamran Siddiqi.
“We want to create a space where banks, mobile network operators, tech firms and others can come together with Visa and collaborate to create new products and services that accelerate the adoption of electronic payments.”
“Given its highly developed economy, sophisticated financial and services sector, and state-of-the art telecommunications, the UAE provides the enabling environment for new technologies to gain acceptance. And, with its strategic location and status as a business, trade and innovation gateway, the UAE, can serve as a launch pad for new technologies to reach other key markets in CEMEA, he added.”
The UAE also has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world at 78 per cent. Because of these conditions, the UAE was selected recently by Visa as one of 16 countries where consumers will soon be able to use Visa Checkout, a service to pay for goods online.