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Talking connected washing machines in Westminster

By Jessica Lennard, Head of UK Regulation and Public Affairs • Visa Europe

February 14, 2018

And that was when I fell in love with a washing machine…” Not words you might expect to hear from a guest of honour speaking to a packed audience on the House of Commons Terrace. But then again, our first UK Parliamentary event as part of the global Visa network was never going to be dull…

One of the great benefits of joining Visa’s global business eighteen months ago is that we are now able to showcase and share truly world-leading expertise across all our markets. So, when we decided to host a private Westminster reception for the UK’s influential All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Technology, it felt very appropriate that we should ask one of Visa’s global experts, Senior Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT), Avin Arumagam, to join the event and share his insights with the Governments fintech experts.

Avin proved out to be a big draw. The event saw us host over 170 attendees from across Government, Westminster and Whitehall, as well as industry, including many of our clients.

Guests were party to a conversation between Avin and Adam Afriyie MP who chairs the APPG on Financial Technology. The pair touched upon all things IoT, from smart vehicles and the future role of digital payments in our cities, to cyber security and financial inclusion, to how technology is helping individuals control their spending. As well as washing machines, given Avin is a particular fan of this smart technology!

The discussion went on to current and future areas of cutting-edge innovation, Visa’s investment in critical infrastructure and security, and how best to ensure that everyone everywhere is able to benefit from the rise of fintech.

Visa’s innovation team was also on hand to demonstrate some of the latest payments technologies for guests at the reception.

In Avin’s words: “The fourth industrial revolution, and the coupling of IoT and commerce, further enrich how Visa is helping everyone pay, anywhere, in any way they want. Truly an exciting time for Visa and the industry.”

This was a really valuable opportunity to engage with political and industry stakeholders who are working together to ensure this technology can be harnessed to the benefit of the UK and those who live here.

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