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Israeli PayTech Firms Team With Visa’s Tel Aviv Innovation Center

Tel Aviv’s new Visa Innovation Center is teaming up with three Israeli payment technology startups to offer more payment solutions, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Sept. 4).

Visa Innovation Center Head Shahar Friedman said the company is focused on building business partnerships with Israeli companies offering payment solutions.

“Visa cooperates with these startups to support their growth and development by leveraging the reach, capabilities and security VisaNet, the company’s global payment network, offers,” Friedman said.

The Israeli startups include personalized financing firm ChargeAfter; cross-border payments firms Mesh; and Zooz, which was acquired by PayU and provides online payment methods to over 300,000 retailers.

In 2018, the Visa center also invested in Behalf, which offers alternative financing for small businesses. The Visa Innovation Center is also studying more investments in Israel, Friedman said, and the company is hosting several early-stage startups as Visa evaluates its technologies.

Walmart in February acquired Israel-based startup Aspectiva, a company focused on natural language processing capabilities. Aspectiva will join Walmart’s Store N? 8, which is the incubation unit it rolled out in 2017 that is tasked with finding new ideas to transform commerce through technology.

According to Walmart’s Principal of Store N? 8 Lori Flees, Aspectiva’s technology in machine learning and natural language processing will have a “profound” impact on how customers shop in the future. “Israel is a hotbed of tech talent and innovation,” Flees said.

This deal is just the latest in Walmart’s focus on Israel-based tech companies. It has already made investments in Team8, an Israeli think tank and tech incubator, and has launched a joint venture with Eko, a media and technology company. Walmart also recently joined The Bridge, a tech accelerator program that connects global companies with the tech startup community in Israel.

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