Visa Path to Access

Expanding access to the digital economy could uplift everyone, everywhere and accelerate global growth – and it has never been more critical. At Visa, we are committed to empowering individuals and communities because together we can prosper.

Discover more about the power of access – click below to watch the Visa Path to Access video

Unlocking Opportunities through Access

Access to the digital economy allows people all over the world to unlock new opportunities – opportunities to expand their businesses, create jobs, access services and promote inclusivity. Through the Visa Path to Access Campaign, we have a unique opportunity to better understand the digital economy across nine markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) and explore the ways to accelerate and enable access for all

Bridging The Digital Divide: Paths to Financial Inclusion Through The Digital Economy  - Virtual Event 

The World Economic Forum valued the global digital economy at US$14.5trn in 2021. Over the next few decades, it’s poised to be a critical engine of global growth: in some countries in the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region, enabling universal access could boost GDP per capita by around 40% by 2045 ¹.

Digital inclusion is more than just the ability to access technology—it also presents the valuable opportunity to participate fully in society. However, not everyone has equal access to the digital economy, an access gap that is preventing individuals, businesses, and entire economies from availing of the multiple benefits of the digital transition. 

‘Bridging The Digital Divide: Paths to Financial Inclusion Through The Digital Economy’ brings together a panel of regional and global experts to assess and analyze the prevalent barriers and the inherent opportunities related to unlocking digital access. In doing so, the panel brings a host of valuable insights to light on how to create an enabling environment for digital enterprises, current consumer and SME digitisation trends, and the best-practice policies and regulatory frameworks to propel financial inclusion, amongst others. The speakers also highlight key public and private sector collaboration and incentives that have been effective in paving a more equitable path to prosperity.

Discover why the digital economy matters, and how it can unlock access for everyone, everywhere. 

Visa Path to Access Podcast Series

In the Visa Path To Access podcast series, industry leaders and financial experts explore how unlocking access to the digital economy can bring significant benefits to individuals, businesses and entire economies. 

Join Visa and guests to hear the key challenges that need to be addressed to enable access and unlock growth opportunities for everyone, everywhere. Throughout the series, our experts identify and share insights on what remains to be done across CEMEA to realise the goal of a more equitable future – one where entire economies, businesses, and individuals are uplifted as we progress along the path to global prosperity.

Episode 1. Levelling the digital playing field: Why access is the critical component to drive economic growth for everyone, everywhere

Digital inclusion is more than merely the ability to access technology, it also presents a valuable opportunity for individuals to participate fully. While many now have access to the internet, various barriers that prevent full participation in the digital economy still need to be addressed. 

Join industry experts Andrew Torre, Regional President, CEMEA at Visa, and Aamir Kureshi, Head Consumer, Agriculture & SME Banking at Habib Bank Ltd, as they discuss how we can overcome the digital divide, alongside strategies by which organizations and stakeholders can collaborate to uplift economies, businesses and individuals, everywhere.

Episode 2. Creative Assets: Financial Education on Increasingly Accessible Digital Economy Gives Creators Tools to Prosper, Monetize, and Ensure Long-term Growth

Financial education gives content creators tools to prosper, monetize, and ensure long term growth

The creator economy is increasingly taking centre stage. An estimated 50 million people worldwide are now earning primary income as content creators, a number that has more than doubled since 2019¹.

Technology has changed the game for amateur storytellers, who can now access a number of ways by which to create content and leverage social media platforms in order to gain maximum exposure. And, for the first time, technological advances are enabling creators to access empowering tools that can help them to shift to more lucrative and sustainable business models. 

We assess the opportunity for creators of all kinds – from videographers and vloggers, podcasters and photographers, to writers, artists, and course creators - to build their own authentic communities while maximising usage of the numerous tools available to them in today’s increasingly open digital world. 

We also explore the role financial education has to play in the continued growth and development of  the creator economy, and address some critical topics, including: how access to financial education can help creators to move from a reliance on sponsorship and revenue-sharing to unlock the full scope of the monetization opportunity; how social media can be leveraged to disseminate essential financial information to the creator cohort; and what the benefits for creators when accessing expert-led financial education workshops and masterclasses.

Finally, we learn about how Visa is unlocking access for creators to enable them to avail of the full scope of opportunity. And, most important of all, explore how creators are contributing to the digital economy.

Episode 3. Breaking Down The Digital Barriers: Leveraging the Power of Fintech & MNOs to Unlock the Access Landscape

Breaking Down The Digital Barriers: Leveraging the Power of Fintech & MNOs to Unlock the Access, Otto Williams

As CEMEA transitions to the digital future, fintech and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have an increasingly important role to play in facilitating the process;  in particular, they have the potential to unlock access to the payment ecosystem and make it a more equitable space. With more than 1.6 billion accounts globally in 2022, the advent of mobile money services has paved the way to financial inclusion for many. 

But what needs to be put into place to ensure that the opportunity can be realized in full? 

As MNOs expand their services from traditional payments and transactions to encompass a wider range of critical resources and tools, what will be the role of fintech in expanding access to the underserved and unbanked members of the community – in ways that are tailored to the specific needs of this segment? 

We assess the stepping stones that need to be navigated now across CEMEA to accelerate progress, whilst analyzing the opportunities that fintech can tap into. Taking the unique needs and stages of digital development of each nation into account, what are the barriers that need to be addressed to ensure that everyone benefits, everywhere? We also look at how Visa intends to harness the network effect to help pave the road ahead for players across the mobile money ecosystem and, by doing so, ensure an equitable future for all.

Episode 4. How the Next-Gen Payfacs Revolution Is Ushering In A New Era Of Equitable Access

How the Next-Gen Payfacs Revolution Is Ushering In A New Era Of Equitable Access

Payfacs have come a long way since the first-gen variant first came on the scene in the late 1990s. Initially devised as a way to help businesses easily accept online payments, the new and improved model goes beyond catering to the needs of larger businesses to offer comprehensive, end-to-end digital payment solutions and services that benefit an array of enterprises and industries of all shapes and sizes. The common benefit? Today’s payfacs solutions reduce the complexity of setting up online payments, thus freeing businesses up to focus their finite resources on their core competencies.

With around 250 unique payfacs operating in CEMEA, which show a significant slant towards digital channels, there is a tremendous growth opportunity – and it represents low-hanging fruit. By removing roadblocks to success and facilitating the digital payments process, payfacs have so far succeeded in unlocking access to the payment ecosystem for a range of consumers, including small and micro-merchants, start-ups and entrepreneurs.  

How can Visa harness the power of its vast network, bolstered by its advanced integrated digital tools and global payments expertise, to accelerate the adoption and acceptance of payfacs at scale – and, by doing so, help them meet their goals? At the same time, what are the greenfield opportunities that exist in CEMEA today that could represent a rich seam of future innovation if properly tapped? We assess the steps that Visa is taking to create and develop these opportunities to unlock access to a comprehensive range of products and solutions for more people than ever before. We also explore how this is a critical step on the path to facilitate a future where everyone is empowered to participate in the digital economy, wherever they are in the region.

Episode 5. The Access Imperative: Unpacking the Strategic Playbook

Visa Path to Access The Access Imperative: Unpacking the Strategic Playbook

In a world that’s rapidly advancing towards a digital-first future, it’s a sobering reality that 1.7 billion adults worldwide remain financially excluded. This episode of Visa’s podcast takes a strategic view on ‘why’ ‘what’ and ‘how’ we can narrow the divide and ensure that essential financial services are accessible to everyone, including those who have long been left on the fringes – the unbanked and underbanked.

Starting with the ‘why’ - we delve into the personal and organizational significance of access. We explore the access imperative – why is it a critical component that defines empowerment and equitable participation in the global economy. Our speakers share their insights, providing a unique perspective on ‘what’ access means to them and their organizations. We will also aim to uncover the ‘how’ and discuss the strategic imperative of access. We unpack the strategies steering us towards a more inclusive future, delving into real-world examples that showcase the power of collaboration and innovation.  

In our concluding moments, we share compelling insights that spark a call to action. It’s not just about understanding the issues, it’s about inspiring change - we reflect on the potential of united endeavors and cutting-edge solutions to redefine financial inclusion.

Stay tuned for updates, more to come on Visa Path to Access.