"Spanish Fintech and Hidden Potential" Meetup to Enhance Innovation in Fintech

June 10, 2022

Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition is an equity-free pilot-centered collaboration platform that enables Fintech to accelerate its response to the payment and commerce challenges of tomorrow, further enhance its own product propositions, and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of clients and partners. In order to create more awareness for the Spanish Fintech ecosystem and support both financial and non-financial corporations in Spain to grow their business Visa, Hackquarters and Finnovating organized a digital event. “Spanish FinTech and Hidden Potential” was held on 1 June 2022. 

The meetup started with the welcoming speech of Eva Ruiz Cendon, Southern Europe Head of Fintech at Visa. She talked about the audience this program is aimed to, both Spanish born Fintech but also international Fintech with geo-agnoctic capabilities. According to Ruiz Cendon “the aim objective of this program is to create meaningful and tangible value for the ecosystem, facilitating banks, corporates, partners and Fintechs, the connection opportunity to enable cooperation. As she noted :”Collaboration is critical; there is no progress if we remain in silos.”

Welcoming speech was followed by Kaan Akın, Founder and CEO at Hackquarters with the presentation on the Visa Innovation Program benefits and cases. As the applications for the Fintechs are still open, Akın mentioned success stories of the previous 3 cohorts in Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. 

After Kaan’s presentation, Rodrigo Garcia de la Cruz, Founder at Finnovating  shared the main aspects of the Spanish Fintech Ecosystem. What is so special about Spanish  Fintech is that the country itself is a connecting Hub for both Europe and Latin America due to the shared language and culture. Spain has the 3rd biggest Fintech ecosystem in Europe. There are 1293 active Fintech, Insurtech and Proptech in Spain; and 400+ of them are pure Fintech. Finnovating provides ecosystem support with its matching as a service platform where 40k+ Fintech, 18k+ corporate professionals, and 9k+ investors come together for collaboration. 

Following De la Cruz keynote, panel with successful Program alumni from prior editions in other Southern Europe markets, moderated by Melihcan Yücel, Senior Fintech Engagement Manager, for the region at Visa; Serdar Kodal,Co-Founder at HASO; and Evangelos Rossetos, Co-Founder at  Simply shared their journey within Visa Innovation Program in Turkey and Greece. For both, Serdar and Evangelos, one of the most critical parts of Visa Innovation Program is the privileged access to partnership opportunities and proof of concepts (PoCs). Kodal emphasized that for PoCs, building confidence is the key to success. The program made both Fintech be more visible for large entities, which eventually led to more collaborations with them. For Rossetos, Visa Innovation Program brought “fantastic opportunities” with contacts to explore collaboration and synergies. Now, Simply is partnering with the biggest Greek Bank. Yücel highlighted that the relationship between Visa and theFintechs selected for the Program is not limited to the time span of the Program. Visa and the Visa Innovation Program Alumni sustain the collaboration like a living organism helping the ecosystem create greater value also in the mid and long term.

Concluding the Meetup, Fireside addressing “Visa Innovation Program Partner Experience” provided  the corporate partner perspective on  collaboration potential and Fintech ecosystem insights by Selim Yüksel, Innovation Center Vice President at Akbank. Akbank, one of the most prominent banks in Turkey was supporting Visa Innovation Program and Fintech since the beginning of the initiative in 2019. Yüksel stated that Fintech- corporate partnership is totally feasible and profitable for both sides. The way Akbank Lab operates is testing and providing services for Akbank customers in the fastest way possible. Akbank isconstantly scouting for the right capabilities to respond to the needs and pains in the market. Akbank Lab has led more than 30 successful PoCs so far.

If you are a Fintech operating in Spain, and addressing  one of the Program’s verticals do not hesitate to apply for Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition. The deadline for the applications is 12 June 2022. All details are available on the Program website

If you are interested in partnering or investing in the Fintechs, please fill out the form.

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