MIAMI, FL – July 27, 2020 – Today, Visa and the Global Resilient Cities Network kickoff the first program of their partnership that was announced earlier this year. “Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World” aims to help cities co-create and implement solutions to develop and advance digital inclusion and transformation in the 17 cities[1] comprising the Global Resilient Cities Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Both entities agree that driving digital transformation in these cities is a priority to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital economy and to strengthen urban resilience, during this critical time for the region.  
Visa and the Global Resilient Cities Network will invite member cities to identify challenges and develop innovative solutions that envision their city as a digital leader, reflecting the hurdles that citizens, in particular those in vulnerable communities, are coping with. For this first edition, three cities will be selected to work with a team of experts in order to find the best strategies to tackle their challenges.
The economic digitalization and growth of digital infrastructure has allowed cities to continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including their governments and citizens, and has provided many innovative solutions to the challenges brought and exacerbated by the crisis. There is a significant change in the way people move and access services in Latin America, along with an accelerated growth of the digital economy, as well as an urgent need to rethink many industries such as urban mobility, which are crucial in fostering inclusion.  
“Enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive is at the core of what we do in Visa, and as part of this mission we are committed to helping cities build the right digital infrastructure to assure nobody remains excluded from the digital economy,” said Aida Esteban, Head of Urban Mobility and Smart Cities for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean. “We believe that facilitating greater access to a seamless mobility ecosystem is not only a pre-condition for economic and sustainable growth, but also of paramount importance to support cities’ economic recovery in the region.”
As cities begin opening back up at varying stages around the region, public transportation will play an essential role in economic recovery and in getting cities and communities back to work and school, safely. To this end, with open loop, contactless payments, riders can simply tap their contactless card or contactless-enabled mobile device at the terminal and ride. Visa has already seen a rebound in ridership, after reaching a global low in April. While still below pre-COVID-19 levels, contactless transactions for transit fares have been on the upswing for the last two months, recovering +187% by the end of June[2].
“COVID-19 has put digitalization in the spotlight more than ever and perhaps made its growth unstoppable now. This program will enable cities to anticipate to the challenge of global digitalization, with a resilience perspective that will help avoid a deeper digital divide between those who have access to computers, mobile devices and internet, and those who do not,” said Eugene Zapata Garesche, Managing Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Global Resilient Cities Network.
Solutions fostering digital economies can positively impact communities in various aspects and benefit multiple stakeholders of a city, including government, the private sector and citizens. Benefits from this program include strengthening city resilience, promoting inclusive digitalization, providing widespread access to a digital economy, and bridging the technological gap for the most vulnerable populations.
The program will also serve as a guide for future initiatives in other Latin American cities to enhance urban systems and promote collaborative ecosystems that inspire innovation and become a space for dialogue and action among all different players. Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World also reflects Visa’s ongoing commitment to the long-term success of cities by enabling fast, easy and secure payments. Visa is currently working on more than 500 active and upcoming transit projects around the world – most recently in the Dominican Republic Visa enabled contactless payments in the bus system in Santo Domingo.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About and @VisaNews.

About the Global Resilient Cities Network

The Global Resilient Cities Network is the city-led organization that drives urban resilience action to protect vulnerable communities from climate change and other physical, social and economic urban adversities and challenges. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation and other funding strategic partners, the Network aims to continue supporting cities and their Chief Resilience Officers in future-proofing their communities and critical infrastructure with a unique reach, strength and legacy to understand and support the challenges of the ever-growing urban society.

Media Contacts

Visa Inc.
Catalina Bantula Camps
Global Resilient Cities Network
Fabiola Guillen
+52 (55) 3566-5064

[1] Ciudad Juarez, Colima, Metropolitan Guadalajara and Mexico City (Mexico), Santiago de los Caballeros in Dominican Republic, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Panama City, Cali and Medellin in Colombia, Quito in Ecuador, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre in Brazil, Montevideo in Uruguay, Metropolitan Santiago in Chile and Santa Fe and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

[2] VisaNet; April-June 2020