Contis Group, an award-winning alternative banking, payments and processing platform provider has announced it is Visa’s launch partner for the fintech fast-tract programme—an initiative providing fintechs with access to payment cards and banking capabilities while reducing client on-boarding time to as little as four weeks.

Due to launch in July, the programme will initially focus upon UK-based start-ups, providing access to contactless Visa debit and prepaid cards and current accounts complete with IBAN, Faster Payments and Direct Debit functionality. The initiative will expand across Europe soon thereafter.

This ground-breaking initiative will drive innovation and disruption by removing the barriers-to-entry faced by start-ups. The programme will enable businesses to test new concepts in a secure and fully API-configurable environment supported by Contis’ robust Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols and dedicated customer service.

Commenting on the partnership, Flavia Alzetta, Chief Executive Officer of Contis said: “In a world that is being fundamentally reshaped by technology, it is crucial that key parties pull together to remove the friction that stifles disruption across the financial services sector.

“We are delighted to partner with Visa to launch an initiative that will not only foster competition but also create an environment that fuels innovation and has the potential to support the growth of the next generation of financial services providers.”

Bill Gajda, SVP Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Europe at Visa said: “Our new FinTech fast-track programme will enable early stage start-ups to gain rapid access to the capabilities that lie within Visa’s global network to power their own ideas. We’re pleased to be partnering with Contis to launch this programme.

“At Visa we are open for all players to take advantage of the reach, capabilities and security of our network to grow their businesses. Our commitment is to be the most responsive and supportive network for both emerging payment players and our existing clients and partners.”