Indian City Advances as Fintech Hub as Visa, Reuters Move In

Multinational giants Thomson Reuters and Visa will launch their operations in the south Indian city of Vishakhapatnam next month, as the city gains prominence as a leading financial technology hub in the country.

Global data and technology provider Thomson Reuters will join the world’s leading payments network Visa in launching operations in Vishakhapatnam, a coastal Indian city in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Vishakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, has taken notable steps toward fostering Fintech development by welcoming industry firms to gain an operating presence in the city.

The coastal city of Vizag is pushing on with its agenda of becoming a Fintech hub.

According to a report in Indian newspaper The Hindu, the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the two companies, in a concentrated effort to establish the city as a Fintech hub in the country.

The agreement will see Thomson Reuters use infrastructure and university resources provided by the state government to build Fintech initiatives. Visa will push toward financial inclusion of the underbanked while increasing digital adoption amid developing curriculum in education for financial literacy. Perhaps notably, Visa will lend its expertise to introduce Quick Response (QR) code and Near-Field Communications (NFC) technologies for digital payments in government and business sectors in the state.

A Fintech Valley

The two firms will be allocated floor space at ‘Fintech Tower’, a center for development at the city’s ‘FinTech Valley’, a government supported facility that will serve as co-working space for Fintech startups, accelerators and incubators.

In quotes reported by the publication, J.A. Chowdary, IT adviser to the state’s chief minister, stated:

We have floated Fintech Valley-Vizag in December during the inauguration of the FinTech Tower. With several proposals at various stages of implementation, we are confident of making Vishakhapatnam a leading Fintech hub.

Digital banking, blockchain technology and cybersecurity are some of the technologies that will be developed in the city. The government is also markedly pushing toward collaborating multinationals like Visa and HSBC, among several others, with academic institutions to create job-ready graduates with Fintech expertise.

Toward the end of 2016, the local government entered a ‘Fintech Cooperation Agreement’ with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank and financial regulator. Among other endeavors, the two authorities will “explore joint innovation projects on technologies such as digital payments and blockchain” according to the MAS.

Image from Shutterstock.

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