Visa opens local office to accelerate Puerto Rico’s digital transformation
Visa Inc. announced the opening of offices in San Juan to enable working more closely with their clients in Puerto Rico. The opening of the space in Santurce marks the company’s return to the island, where it had a presence until 1999.
From this local operation, Visa will seek to accelerate digital transformation, drive development of the payment infrastructure, and innovate with consumer centric payment solutions.
The five-person local team will work with key ecosystem players including issuing and acquiring institutions, commercial businesses, aggregators, commerce, and government organizations to address user needs and support financial and digital inclusion.
“Puerto Rico has conditions conducive to transformation into an innovation and development hub and the export of turnkey solutions to Latin American and the Caribbean that qualify it to spur greater digital transformation in the region,” said Jorge Lemus, Visa’s senior vice president for Caribbean and Central America.
“The fiscal incentives designed to attract international investment position the Island as an attractive investment destination for fintechs that operate in the Caribbean while United States ties and influence provide an important platform for easier access to the U.S. market,” he said.
According to Visa’s Digital 2020 study, commissioned to Hootsuite, the island shows an 84% internet penetration rate, 106% mobile phone connectivity, 72% of users active on social media, 69% participation of mobile phones as point of web access and a 72% penetration rate of mobile phone post-payment (credentials on file).
In addition, consumers on the Island have demonstrated they are sophisticated adopters and users of digital payment formats such as contactless payment, which reached a penetration rate of 30% in September of 2022.
“There are very judicious complimentary efforts between the public sector, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to advance the Island’s digital transformation,” said Luis Guerra, general manager for Visa Puerto Rico, who heads operations for the local market since 2018.
“Some of these efforts on the public sector side are focused on developing innovation and technology services, as well as attracting external investments, new businesses, and investment capital,” he said.
“At the same time, several private sector organizations are focusing on accelerating the digitalization of micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) and ramping up their impact on local economic development through Visa payment programs and improvement in their cybersecurity, for example,” he added.
“Having a local presence offers us the opportunity to continue growing and expanding the adoption of digital payment and, with Visa’s worldwide experience, to integrate urban mobility with digital payments, thus establishing an additional cornerstone to the development of intelligent cities,” Guerra added.
The Visa Puerto Rico local team will leverage Visa’s worldwide experience with international support from regional experts at the Latin America and Caribbean hub based in Miami to offer new value-added global services through much more sophisticated digital payment products and solutions.
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