Payments

Visa partners with Ascenda to boost loyalty in Asia Pacific

Visa's partners will have the opportunity to adopt a new rewards program with tech

Visa is on the move again — this time, to the Asia Pacific.

The digital payments juggernaut announced Tuesday a new partnership with Singapore’s Ascenda, a global fintech company that builds loyalty technology. Visa will utilize the Ascenda Nexus platform, originally launched in February. With it, Visa’s partners will have the opportunity to adopt a new rewards program.

The partnership means card issuers, like banks or fintechs, can deploy rewards programs in what Visa is claiming as “a fraction of the typical lead-time.” The platform speeds up the process because the requirement of traditional integration points for new loyalty solutions is removed.

Ascenda’s Nexus platform will authenticate customers and identify payment transactions that are eligible for rewards with the help of Visa’s API services. According to Ascenda, Nexus supports the company’s entire line-up of points-based and cash-back propositions, including the merchant offers aggregation platform, OffersHub.

“As Visa evolves our business beyond cards, reward programs are becoming more digital, more engaging, more personalized, and easier to adapt to new opportunities,” Chris Clark, regional president, Asia Pacific, Visa, said. “Our partnership with Ascenda ensures Visa is able to deliver loyalty platforms that match the pace of digital adoption our bank and fintech partners need.”

The Visa-Ascenda partnership is currently being rolled out progressively across the Asia-Pacific, and more tech may be already on its way. Sebastian Grobys, chief commercial officer at Ascenda, said the companies’ latest partnership integration “unlocked a greater scale for collaboration going forward.”

As a global finance giant, Visa has been making more and more plays internationally as it works to compete with a rapidly growing fintech sphere — It’s already dabbling in buy now, pay later and NFTs.

In May, the company’s Fintech Partner Connect, a program that helps its issuing partners connect with trusted technology developers, modified itself to global availability for clients in the US, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East, African and Caribbean markets.

Expanding in to Europe, Visa agreed to purchase European open-banking service provider Tink for $2.15 billion (€1.8 billion) and gained access to the Swedish-based startups 250 million customers. A month later it acquired Currencycloud, a London-based developer that provides APIs for currency transfer and remittance services.

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