Visa is planning to expand its presence in India.
The financial services company intends to enhance its tech center and innovation hub in Bangalore, India, according to the Economic Times. The hub currently has 750 employees, but the company plans to expand to 1,000 workers in the next 12 to 18 months. The goal is to foster a greater local presence and ultimately forge new partnerships with Indian startups.
The Bangalore center will focus on two areas of Visa’s business: APIs and blockchain technology.
Visa wants to enlist local developers for projects tied to APIs and developer platforms, said TR Ramachandran, Visa’s country manager for India and South Asia. Such projects should help with the development of initiatives tied to Visa Developer, the company’s recently debuted API hub and testing platform.
Visa has also publicly discussed its focus on blockchain technology innovation in India. This positions Visa as one of numerous financial companies that are investing heavily in blockchain technology, which could potentially increase efficiency and streamline several processes within the financial industry.
The company has invested in its own research and development, but it also recently invested in blockchain consortium Chain, which just debuted an open source protocol for constructing a blockchain network.
Blockchain technology, which is best known for powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is gaining steam among finance firms because of its potential to streamline processes and increase efficiency. The technology could cut costs by up to $20 billion annually by 2022, according to Santander.
That’s because blockchain, which operates as a distributed ledger, has the ability to allow multiple parties to transfer and store sensitive information in a space that’s secure, permanent, anonymous, and easily accessible. That could simplify paper-heavy, expensive, or logistically complicated financial systems, like remittances and cross-border transfer, shareholder management and ownership exchange, and securities trading, to name a few. And outside of finance, governments and the music industry are investigating the technology’s potential to simplify record-keeping.
As a result, venture capital firms and financial institutions alike are pouring investment into finding, developing, and testing blockchain use cases. Over 50 major financial institutions are involved with collaborative blockchain startups, have begun researching the technology in-house, or have helped fund startups with products rooted in blockchain.