Three UAE start-ups have made it to the finals of Visa’s innovation programme Everywhere Initiative, designed to encourage the ‘next big thing’ in payments.
Qpal, Bebuzzd and Sippy will compete against start-ups from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Pakistan for $50,000 funding when the initiative concludes in Dubai on October 11 during Gitex Technology Week.
The Everywhere Initiative is structured around three real life business challenges: enabling electronic payment acceptance among smaller merchants and providing secure eCommerce solutions; transforming the transit experience at airports; and building customer loyalty through the right offers at the right time.
Karl Tlais, Visa’s Senior Director — Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, said, “We are delighted with the response to our ‘Everywhere Initiative’ and the quality of submissions we received is an indication of the region’s rich talent pool and innovative spirit. I would like to congratulate Qpal, Bebuzzd and Sippy on making it to the finals, and wish them and the other finalists luck as they enter the final stretch.
“When they come together in Dubai for the final, they will not only have the chance to turn their ideas into reality, but also potentially help shape the future of payments in the region.”
Qpal, a mobile payment solution that enables merchants to accept event attendee payments for food and beverages quicker than conventional cash methods, is competing in the “Acceptance Challenge” category.
Bebuzzd and Sippy are both finalists in the “Loyalty Challenge” category. Bebuzzd is a one-stop loyalty program marketplace for users who earn and redeem points for their purchases. Sippy is a subscription-based mobile application that offers prepaid coffee plans while partnering with local and independent coffee shops in the UAE.