The Beginning of AI and Embedded Finance: Insights from Visa at the Dubai FinTech Summit

The Fintech Times attended the second edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit to explore emerging industry trends in the Middle East. During this two-day event, we had the opportunity to speak with Vanessa Colella, the global head of innovation and digital partnerships at Visa, to discuss key topics currently impacting the world of finance.

As a global leader in payments, Visa operates across diverse regions and observes varying approaches and use cases worldwide. Colella highlighted the differences in innovation approaches between large tech firms and smaller fintech companies. She noted, «The big tech players and global tech platforms often innovate around new technologies, new business models, or new sectors they want to enter. These firms drive a significant amount of their innovation from economies with mature payments infrastructure. Conversely, in the fintech space, innovations often emerge from economies where payments infrastructure may be more brittle or inaccessible.»

Embedded finance has generated considerable excitement within the fintech industry. Colella elaborated on why this enthusiasm is justified and the potential positive impact on the global economy. She explained, «There’s a $1.7 trillion gap between goods flowing around the world and liquidity in the supply chain. This means some suppliers have to wait to get paid. Embedding payments throughout the supply chain can shrink this gap and relieve the burden on small suppliers, ultimately fostering growth and increased GDP in many regions.»

The financial sector has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline processes and address various pain points. Colella revealed that Visa has been using AI for three decades, primarily to combat investment fraud. «We’ve been using AI for 30 years. Last year, Visa blocked more than $40 billion worth of fraud. We think not just about risk and fraud, but also about loyalty, hyper-personalized shopping experiences, and enhanced customer care empowered by AI,» she said.

Dubai has emerged as a global fintech hub, with fintech funding reaching $2.3 billion in 2023. Colella praised the region’s foresight, stating, «The UAE appointed the First Minister of AI in 2017, well before the current fascination with AI. This region’s strategic capital investments and foresight in attracting talent and creating conditions for diverse thinkers are crucial for the development of generative AI.»

The Dubai FinTech Summit showcased the region’s growing influence in finance and technology. Visa’s insights highlight the transformative potential of embedded finance and AI, setting the stage for future innovations in the global financial landscape.

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