The Visa Foundation Announces Grantee to Support COVID-19 Recovery in Central Europe (including Georgia), Middle East and Africa

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 17:44

Funds will support relief efforts being undertaken by the Red Cross

Tbilisi, May 13, 2020 – The Visa Foundation today announced its approval of a $1.6 million COVID-19 relief grant to the Red Cross to support their COVID-19 recovery programs across Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Red Cross is supporting the frontline response to the pandemic and providing critical services for vulnerable communities through public health and disaster relief services.

This grant is part of the Visa Foundation’s previously announced $210 million global commitment, with $10 million in COVID-19 relief focused on the emergency needs announced this week for organizations worldwide and another $200 million to address longer-term needs of the small and micro business community over the next five years. Globally, the Visa Foundation is providing $4.3 million in funding to support the Red Cross’ COVID-19 programs.

“Societies around the world have faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the outbreak placing immense strain on public health providers and other essential services,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President CEMEA, Visa. “We are incredibly grateful and inspired by the tireless work of all humanitarian organizations at this time, and are pleased the Visa Foundation grants will support the ongoing efforts of the Red Cross.”

Across the CEMEA region, COVID-19 has placed additional challenges on communities, with many already suffering the effects of poverty, insecurity, conflict or climate change. The grant to the Red Cross aims to provide much needed support to continue providing vital services across the region.

“We’re grateful for the amazing work humanitarian assistance organizations are providing to communities around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “ said Graham MacMillan, president of the Visa Foundation. “The Visa Foundation is proud to offer these grants to support these organizations’ mission-critical work during these perilous times.”

The forthcoming 5-year $200 million program will support small and micro businesses, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement, both of which will be critical to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment expands the Visa Foundation’s long-standing support for small and micro businesses globally. Additional information on the Foundation’s grant and investment strategy will be shared in the coming months.

For more information: 

About the Visa Foundation

The Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive. Through grantmaking and investing, the Foundation prioritizes the resilience and growth of micro and small businesses that benefit women. The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. The Visa Foundation is registered in the U.S. as a 501(c)3 entity. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/philanthropy/visa-foundation.html.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE

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    Amid the corona crisis, which causes about 500,000 confirmed cases and 8,000 deaths a day worldwide, a Korean-based religious organization called Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (hereinafter referred to as Shincheonji Church) hosted an online prayer meeting, “3rd Global Prayer Service of Religious People” on November 15th.

    Broadcast live on the official YouTube channel of Shincheonji Church, the prayer meeting was organized to pray for not only the patients and their families in sufferings but also the government, medical staff, and volunteers fighting to overcome COVID-19. Along with 200,000 domestic and foreign members of Shincheonji Church, about 56,000 people around the world wishing to defeat this pandemic joined the prayer meeting at the same time.

    Religious leaders from all over the world added their aspirations for the end of COVID-19 in the online prayer meeting. Their words carried the weight and sincerity as they have continued to work with Chairman Man Hee Lee, a representative of an international peace NGO called HWPL

    Chairman Lee, as a war veteran, has practiced peace activities based on the love for humanity toward many victims of war and the words of Jesus, “glory in heaven and peace on earth,” as a believer. He suggested an online prayer meeting because “as the world is suffering from COVID-19, religious people around the world need to pray together to end this disaster."

    “Too many people are suffering from COVID-19. In particular, many were infected within our church last February. Both the church members and citizens suffered a lot. We must actively step forward and pray to God for the extinction of COVID-19 in the globe and for the nation and the people,” he said.

    352 religious leaders from Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and Hinduism, representing 73 countries participated in the prayer meeting with one heart transcending religions and denominations. They shared the need of overcoming the crisis by taking the lead in resolving a disaster as religious leaders.

    Dr. Anak Agung Diatmika, Secretary for International Relationship of PHDI Jakarta, said, “Genuinely from the inner of our heart consider as WE ARE ONE. We should continue our prayer till the end of the COVID-19 pandemic from the earth and continue our synergy among world religious leaders to keep the world peace, harmony, justice, and prosperity. I am so happy I can join this that truly brings world peace and harmony.”

    Following this prayer meeting, about 4,000 recovered patients from COVID-19 who are also Shincheonji Church members will donate blood plasma to develop convalescent plasma treatments. Shincheonji Church has already conducted two large-scale plasma donation of 1,700 church members last July and September, and among them, 312 recovered patients donated twice.

    Regarding the large-scale blood plasma donation, Rt. Hon. Hrant Bagratyan, Former Prime Minister of Armenia, sent his congratulatory message, “the action of those who decided to donate plasma at the request of the government deserves praise. If a vaccine is developed through plasma donation, it would be helpful worldwide."

    A Shincheonji Church official said, “We have been conducting online service since February 18th, and praying at each worship service for the end of COVID-19, the safety of the quarantine authorities and medical staff, and the recovery of the patients. We will do everything we can with a responsible attitude until the end of the COVID-19 crisis.”

    Press-release of HWPL

     

  • Visa Tap to Phone Transforms Payment Acceptance for Sellers Worldwide

    Tbilisi—Oct. 23, 2020—As the world increasingly turns to digital payments amidst COVID-19, a simple mobile app can help millions of sellers worldwide quickly and securely accept contactless payments, while improving the checkout experience for customers. After piloting Visa Tap to Phone over the past year, Visa (NYSE:V) today announced product availability in more than 15 markets with plans to expand to the United States and accelerate global product growth in the rest of the world via more than 35 new partners, including  Visa Ready for Tap to Phone partners.

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    “It was just five years ago when Visa set out to enable virtually any IoT or mobile device to make payments and now today, we are enabling many of those same devices to accept payments in a very simple way with Visa Tap to Phone,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions, Visa. “With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience.”

    Tapping to pay, or contactless payments, is growing rapidly in the COVID-19 era. Visa has seen tap to pay payments grow by 40% year-over-year[4],  In a recent Visa survey, nearly half of consumers (48%) said they would not shop at a store that offers only payment methods requiring contact with a cashier or shared machine like a card reader[5], making it critical for businesses to expand their acceptance methods beyond cash.

    Reinventing In-store Shopping, No Longer Constrained to the POS

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    We always look for ways to improve our customer experience, from personalized service to ease of payment. That's where Tap to Phone comes in. Customers are always curious and impressed when we process their payment using nothing but our mobile phone. Not only has Tap to Phone been helpful for our in-store sales, but we also use it for our contactless product deliveries, helping customers stay at home and pay with their cards, which makes them gain confidence in our brand,” said Karla Avila, founder of Extenclip in Costa Rica.

    Building a Global Partner Network to Accelerate Product Availability

    Also announced today, the Visa Ready for Tap to Phone program will help to fast track global product availability and could reduce the functional evaluation for solution providers from almost two months to a few hours. Visa Ready for Tap to Phone now enables technology companies to become Visa Ready certified, giving sellers the peace of mind that the technology solution they choose meets Visa’s high standards for security. Initial participants of Visa Ready for Tap to Phone include Cellfie, Center of Corporate Technologies M4Bank, Digitsecure, GeoPagos, IBA Group, iCARD AD Bulgaria, MYPINPAD, PayCore, Phos, Quest, Rubean, SmartPesa, SoftPos, Soft Space and Techno.  

    Additional Visa approved technology, acquirer and government partners include Alfa Bank Kazakhstan, BPS Sberbank Belarus, CIMB. FirstData, FT Technologies, Halyk Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Kazpost, MagicCube. Maybank, Niubiz, Oschadbank, Paymentsense, PostePay, Priorbank, Promerica, Russian Standard Bank, Sberbank Kazakhstan, Symbiotic and Worldline/SIX Payment Services.

    If you are a solution provider or acquirer interested in learning more, please visit the Visa Ready website for more details.

    Tap to Phone: How It Works

    Sellers download an app, supported by their acquirer, and after registering and selecting their participating bank, the sellers can start accepting contactless payments in just a few minutes. Tap to Phone builds on top of the security of an EMV chip transaction, in which each transaction contains a dynamic cryptogram that cannot be reused. To see more about how Tap to Phone works, a video demonstration is available here.

    ###

    About Visa Inc.

    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE



    [1] IHS Markit cited by NFC Forum; December 2019

    [2] “Small Merchants, Big Opportunity, The Forgotten Path to Financial Inclusion,” Dalberg

    [3] “Understanding The Future of International Tap to Phone Acceptance Study,” Visa

    [4] Visa Inc, Q2 2020 Earnings

    [5]Visa Back to Business Study,” August 2020

    [6] Data provided by Visa’s Tap to Phone program participants from January 2019 through September 2020.

     

  • The Republic of Turkey provided substantial medical equipment and medicines in support to Georgia

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  • Visa announces results of the research among Georgian female entrepreneurs within #She’sNext initiative

    She’s Next Empowered by Visa research highlights a focus on the challenges and motivations among women business owners in Georgia

    Tbilisi,October 2020– Under She’s Next, Empowered by Visa global initiative in Georgia, Visa commissioned a research that analyzed and surveyed female entrepreneurs and business owners to better understand their attitudes, experiences and challenges they face.

    She’s Next, Empowered by Visa connects like-minded female entrepreneurs with industry experts for education, inspiration and networking opportunities that help deliver immediate impact for their business. Launched in 2019 in the United States, today She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is expanding globally as a part of Visa’s ongoing commitment to support female entrepreneurs.

    The research in Georgia is designed to take the national pulse of female business owners: the goals they aim toward, the challenges they face and motivations that drive them the most.

    Key regional findings of the Women entrepreneurs research in Georgia include[1]:

    • What drives female entrepreneurs:  financial independence (68%) and the desire to make more money (59%), making a lifelong dream come true (21%) are the top three motivators for women in Georgia to start a business.

     

    • Funding is a tremendous hurdle: Main challenges faced by women entrepreneurs when starting their business were capital raising and funding. 50% of women said that they encountered difficulty obtaining the funding they needed to start their business. At the same time 72% of women entrepreneurs financed the business on their own, 45% took a bank loan and 11% received a grant.

     

    • Having a network empowers: 88% of women in Georgia knew another female entrepreneur before deciding to start their own business, and 45% wish they would have received an advice from other female business owners before starting their own business.

     

    • Expanding business: The main area for which women entrepreneurs need additional investment is creation of new products and services, entering new markets (41%).

     

    • Impact of COVID-19: 54% of the female entrepreneurs respond that running business compared to the previous years has become harder. The difficulty faced during the pandemic for the respondents was that they had to close the outlets partially or completely (49%). 44% of respondents mention that sales have dropped as customers have reduced their purchases. Two out of ten respondents experienced failures in the supply of products to consumers (22%). 

     

    • Shift to digital: 37% of the respondents are going to switch their business online. For 65% it was hard to answer what opportunities does online shopping channel bring to their business and only 13% responded that the switch will increase sales and competitiveness.

     

    • Educational platforms and tools: 74% of female business owners are interested in additional workshops to grow their business. The most interesting topics for them are payment systems and new technologies; dealing with crisis and stress; effective work in conditions of uncertainty; getting additional funding; developing a brand strategy;

     

    “Running a business requires a lot of hard work, investment and dedication. Scaling She’s Next initiative across the globe, now it’s turns to drive it in Georgia too. Visa is committed to empowering women business owners through a long-term program of education, cutting-edge digital payment technology and a powerful peer network. We will keep championing female business owners as they build, sustain and advance their businesses and local economy”. - said Cristina Doros, Visa Country Manager for the Caucasus region.

    Within the 1st wave of #She’sNext educational program Visa hosted 4 webinars with the leading business women, coaches, experts and motivational speakers. Up to 600 Women entrepreneurs and small business owners were able to develop their practical skills and gain knowledge in various aspects of business management, personal development, crisis management strategies, and negotiation skills.

    To ensure the connection within the participants of the program local networking community, a Facebook group #She’sNext has been established. After the 1st wave of the program, the online community for female entrepreneurs has reached more than 600 participants.

    Check out the She’s next platform created in partnership with Forbes Woman Georgia

    Detailed information about #She’sNext educational program is available on Visa webpage

     

    ###

    About Visa Inc.

    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE.



    [1] Visa research, conducted by ACT Global in September, 2020 on behalf of Visa to 300 adult, women entrepreneurs in Georgia

  • Visa launches #She’sNext educational online program for Georgian women entrepreneurs

    Tbilisi, September 2020– Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, announced the launch of #She’sNext free online educational program for Georgian women entrepreneurs and small business owners in partnership with Women for Tomorrow and Forbes Woman Georgia as part of the global She’s Next initiative.

    Launched in 2019 in the United States, today She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is expanding globally as a part of Visa’s ongoing commitment to support micro and small businesses overall and female entrepreneurs in particular.

    Small and micro businesses are at the heart of the current economic crisis, many have been forced to close or are struggling to stay afloat. While there is a high demand for e-commerce, to further elevate the capabilities of digital payment experiences in Georgia Visa has implemented a number of initiatives for secure and widely available online payment capabilities for SMEs. Visa has launched in Georgia Visa Small Business Hub, an online platform providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow small businesses, as well as special offers from Visa partners to support SMEs.

    The She’s Next campaign is designed to further empower female entrepreneurs by offering educational and networking activities for female entrepreneurs.

    Within the 1st wave of Georgia’s She’s Next campaign, Visa in partnership with Forbes Woman Georgia, is launching She’s Next portal to feature stories of women in business. The stories reflect on the way She’s Next Ambassadors have gone to build their business. As a part of the educational program, Visa and Women for Tomorrow will host 4 webinars from leading business women, coaches, experts and motivational speakers in the period of September, 7-28, 2020.

    Women entrepreneurs and small business owners will be able to develop their practical skills and gain knowledge in various aspects of business management, personal development, crisis management strategies, and negotiation skills. The educational program and inspiring success stories will provide the program attendees with the necessary practical tools and inspiration to create, develop and scale a competitive business in different industries and fields.

    The list of speakers of the program includes: Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”; Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of Georgian Farmers’ Association; Irma Daushvili, Co-Founder and General Director, DIO; Tinatin Rukhadze, Founder and General Director of the global research-consultancy company “ACT”; Tamar Kerdzaia, Rector of the European University, Natalia Toloraia, Founder and General Director, Natali Group; Rusudan Telia, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ACT Global; Ketevan Qvartskhava, Partner of the BLC Law Office.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of local economies around the world. They are the biggest employers, job creators and contributors to the national GDP. At Visa, empowering female entrepreneurs is a business imperative. We support their growth and success and are committed to providing women-owned small businesses with tools, resources, insights and networking opportunities that can help them grow their businesses.” – said Cristina Doros, Visa Country Manager for the Caucasus Region. “Our educational program in Georgia as a part of the global She's Next initiative will help women acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and transform their businesses. Today, small and medium-sized businesses are one of the most affected by the pandemic sectors of the economy. Such assistance is extremely important for the adaptation of business to the new reality and its further sustainable development."

    “Our main objective is to enhance women’s role in our country’s economic growth and development through supporting our members in pursuing their career goals. Women for Tomorrow is a strategic driver that unites women business leaders, entrepreneurs, top-level managers, young women in leadership and companies involved in mediation with public agencies and representative bodies. Together we will be able to enhance women’s economic role by eliminating financial, social and legal barriers.” – said Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”.

    #She’sNext educational program in Georgia kicks off on Monday, September 7, 11:00 with the first webinar on the topic: “Power of Leadership - How Do Women Generate Leadership & What Skills Do Women Need to Be an Effective Leader?”

    Speakers of the webinar:

    • Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”

    Nino Kobakhidze’s name is associated in developing various initiatives in the public (governmental and community levels) and private sector. Among her multiple initiatives and achievements, there are: structural reforms for effective public administration, activation of the international education center, establishment of the Solidarity Fund and other student related social projects stand out. She held the position of the deputy chief of the Administration of the Government of Georgia.

    • Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of Georgian Farmers’ Association.

    Since 2013 Nino has been holding the position of agricultural advisor at Partnership Fund.  Since 2008 she has been an Executive Director of Agro Complex LTD “Georgian Business Zone”. In 2010 Nino founded “Regional Development Association”. She was awarded with a national business-prize “Merkury 2011” where she received an honorable title of “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”. She was the first woman chosen as a coordinator of “Invest in Future” organization created in 2012 under the patronage of Hilary Clinton.

    • Cristina Doros, Visa Regional Manager for the Caucasus Region

    Cristina Doros oversees Visa’s growth of the electronic payments business in Caucasus region. Since 2016, Cristina joined Visa to lead the regional Core Products team, and has been representing acting Vice-President, Head of Solutions, Visa CISSEE since 2019. Cristina is one of the CISSEE representatives in CEMEA Women’s Leadership Network and key lead of regional diversity initiatives.

    The educational program is available free for all pre-registered participants.

    Detailed information about #She’sNext educational program is available on Visa Facebook.

    Online registration for the 1st webinar “Power of Leadership - How Do Women Generate Leadership & What Skills Do Women Need to Be an Effective Leader” is available via the link: bit.do/shesnextgeorgia

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