Payments company Visa has been built on innovation, from the moment, 60 years ago, when founder Dee Hock came up with his novel idea. “We created the space in which electronic payments can happen in virtually real time, going beyond borders, currencies, languages,” according to Adrian Farina, Senior VP Marketing Europe, at Visa. “The way we managed innovation for the first 55 years of our company was organic innovations through us developing this massive network,” he told the ad:tech London conference (September 2018).
This network now connects 3.3 billion Visa cards globally and spans almost 50 million retail locations, all built up by Visa itself. But over the last five years the business has taken a more collaborative approach towards innovation, opening up a platform to facilitate engagement with third-party developers and agencies. “Today we are close to 100 APIs, that developers and companies can choose to connect with the specific part of our network that’s relevant for them,” explained Farina.