Applications have opened for Visa’s innovation programme and competition Visa Everywhere for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative awards up to US$50,000 – a US$25,000 prize and potentially up to US$25,000 in pilot funding – plus the potential opportunity to work with Visa to companies that can help solve any of three challenges.

The first challenge is merchant payments, with Visa seeking startups that leverage Visa Developer APIs to enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive e-commerce and reduce cash on delivery.

Visa is also looking for startups in social business payments, seeking companies that can use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer-centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments.

The third challenge is based around financial inclusion, and is calling for startups that augment their products with voice, messaging and artificial intelligence solutions to drive more powerful financial management or commerce experiences.

Interested startups can submit their proposal here by May 18, with submissions to be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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