Visa updates Fast Track accelerator, enables launch of LGBT+ preferred name card
Visa has added two tools, called Partner Toolkit and Visa Ready for Fintech Enablers, to its Fast Track program, which is designed to accelerate the time it takes a fintech to launch in the market.
The accelerator has enabled Los Angeles-based fintech Be Money to relaunch itself as Daylight and bring to market a transgender-inclusive preferred name card.
“We are very excited about the launch and that Daylight is now part of Visa’s Fast Track program,” said Terry Angelos, senior vice president and global head of fintech at Visa. “They are delivering financial solutions to a market segment that has been underserved and Visa is committed to helping Daylight succeed.”
Daylight's digital banking platform is focused on improving financial services equality and inclusion among the estimated 30 million plus Americans who identify as LGBT+. Its preferred name card is being offered on Marqeta’s global card issuing platform. Marqeta is also part of Visa’s Fast Track accelerator program as a Fintech Enabler.
Visa's program launched in 2019 in an effort to help fintechs bring new financial products to market faster.
The Fast Track Partner Toolkit, announced Wednesday, is designed to help fintechs bring new product ideas to market more quickly by gaining access to Visa’s experts in a variety of product development and design, marketing, strategy and risk management areas. The Visa Ready for Fintech Enablers certification program, also announced Wednesday, makes it easier for startups to connect with certified partners such as Marqeta, which can help accelerate a fintech’s launch.
“When Daylight reported to us that 20% of the [LGBT+] community is underserved and unbanked we knew it was something we needed to help address,” Angelos said. “Daylight is a new type of community bank focused on serving the LGBT+ community through a number of features being demanded. Visa-branded cards that have someone's preferred name is just one important example."
Mastercard also has a platform for cardholders who wish to use their preferred name. Most recently, Citi announced that its launch of Mastercard’s True name card has been a strong success. Since the launch in October, the response has exceeded expectations, with more than 1,800 Citi customers requesting a name-change on their cards since the launch of the program.
In November 2019 two Mastercard issuers, BMO Harris and Superbia Credit Union also announced that they had enabled Mastercard’s True Name feature for customers who opt to use their preferred name on credit, debit and prepaid cards instead of their legal name, to support gender inclusion.
Visa's Partner Toolkit has educational resources and provides access to Visa’s online card design tools to help build and launch a card quickly. Visa will also provide a fintech with resources that can craft customized benchmarking studies for evaluation.
The certification of Fintech Enablers included in Fast Track is designed so that startups are introduced into an ecosystem of partners, some of whom operate globally, while others may be region specific.
The partners provide fintechs with the expertise and support to design, build and launch new payment solutions that meet Visa’s global standards around security and functionality. Essentially Visa is opening the doors and making introductions for its fintech Fast Track participants to an ecosystem of partner companies that have agreed to support and accelerate new payment product introductions by the vetted startups.
Certified processing partners in the program include BPC Radar Payments, Conductor, FIS, Global Processing Services (GPS), i2c, Marqeta, and NovoPayment. Certified BIN processors include Dock, Nium, Railsbank and Sutton Bank.
“We launched Fast Track globally in different regional waves, with the U.S. going live about a year ago,” added Angelos. “The way we measure success is in the level of interest we have from fintechs wanting to join and we’ve had hundreds of companies engage with us. The second is how long it takes these fintechs to launch a new product. We’ve gone from many months to weeks when launching a new program.”
Angelos noted that a key part of the Fast Track program, as well as the two new tools, is to lower the cost to create new fintech payment solutions. This in turn will enable more fintechs to develop new products since the many of the barriers to product development have been lowered or eliminated altogether.
Since the Fast Track program is 100% online and many of the partners are global, it extends the reach of Visa’s accelerator.
“We can have a fintech in Kenya or Brazil accessing the online tools and being introduced to partners so that they can launch more easily and quickly,” added Angelos. “A major part of Visa’s role is to be more active with our clients to help them develop their offerings."