On Thursday Visa became the latest firm to open up an innovation center in Singapore.
Blouin News has covered the snowballing effect of more and more firms being drawn to Singapore to innovate (see our last post: Singapore racks up another innovation lab). Visa now joins a diverse group of firms who have established similar labs there, which includes Standard Chartered Bank, Singaporean Bank OCBC, Hong Kong accelerator Nest, and global shipping firm DHL.
Visa’s move builds on the success of its flagship innovation center which opened in San Francisco in July 2014.The Singapore facility is the first of a network of new centers that the firm is building around the world this year and in 2017.
It aims to be a collaborative space where various stakeholders can come together to create commerce solutions, particularly on mobile and digital platforms, said Visa president Ryan McInerney. By providing access to Visa technology at the center (including software developer kits), clients and partners can experience real-time experimentation and rapid prototyping, wrote Channel News Asia. As Visa’s first innovation center in Asia, the Singapore site will also operate as a commercial gateway for its clients, partners, and developers from across the world to extend their service offerings into Asia.
Visa’s decision to choose Singapore first is music to the ears of the country’s Economic Development Board (EDB), which is doing its utmost to encourage an innovation ecosystem. Working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the EDB is building a “smart financial centre” and has its sights set on positioning the country as the digital capital of Asia. Singapore is well on its way to becoming just that.