More than just a new space, it's a new way of working

By Bill Gajda, SVP, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships • Visa Europe

February 21, 2017

Visa Innovation Center London

“Design isn’t now just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

Apple and Steve Jobs revolutionised the way we look at design. Despite not being the leader in the PC market, in the 1990s Apple still managed to drive some of the most elemental aspects of UX. For example, you couldn’t have spaces in a file name until Apple came along. Every time you drag a file to Trash? That was Apple.

Steve Jobs and his team could be considered the poster children of design thinking – embodying the principle that there’s actual social value in good design because all design is, at its root, social in its nature. The essence of design thinking is that you break down a challenge or problem into its most basic elements, then use look at every possible solution to see if there’s a better way to make that next step.

Today we are launching the Visa Innovation Center London, a dedicated space where we can work with clients and partners to address their own individual needs and business challenges.

When we use design thinking to guide our co-creation sessions in the center, we’ll ask four key questions:

  • What is? – what is the current state of play?
  • What if? – if we remove all the things we think are obstacles, what’s possible?
  • What wows? – if we pare down the range of options, what are the best ones that will both solve the problem as well as pack a punch.
  • What works? – by doing very short sprints, we’ll build prototypes of our solution to test with customers and others to solicit their feedback. Because, at the end of the day, if it doesn’t solve consumers’ pain points, they won’t use it.

Co-creation is a highly intensive, multiple-day program that brings together business owners, consumers, subject matter experts, and technology and design staff to address a specific, well-defined problem. By remaining focused on a specific need, the team can concentrate their efforts on developing a meaningful response in a very short space of time.

For Visa, this is a tremendous change in the way we work, moving away from an inside-out approach, where we looked at our capabilities and develop products, then rolled them out to our clients. By changing our focus to working side-by-side with clients and partners, Visa can now create next generation payment solutions that are aligned with needs in the marketplace and that solve real-world problems.

Plus, by shifting from packaged products to a more bespoke approach, our clients and partners get a solution tailored to their needs, helping them differentiate themselves in the marketplace and address their customers’ needs.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Visa Innovation Center London is what it means to businesses of all kinds throughout Europe: It’s going to be a new and invaluable resource for financial institutions and retail, government agencies and the “gig economy”. Basically, anyone who wants to pay or be paid can benefit from the imagination, the creativity and the resources that this center offers.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Visa Innovation Center London, request a visit.

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