US-based payments technology major Visa has announced plans to invest $100m in companies developing generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and applications.

The initiative will focus on investing in ventures that can change how commerce and payment is done in future.

Visa, which claims to be the pioneer in using AI in payments since 1993, expects the investment to drive innovation, create value and support commerce across the world.

Generative AI is a new branch of AI that is built on large language models to create artificial general intelligence.

When given prompts, the generative AI-powered applications can produce text, graphics, or other types of content.

Visa chief product and strategy officer Jack Forestell said: “While much of generative AI so far has been focused on tasks and content creation, this technology will soon not only reshape how we live and work, but it will also meaningfully change commerce in ways we need to understand.”

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The investments will be led by Visa’s global corporate investment arm Visa Ventures, which has been investing in companies since 2007.

Visa Ventures head David Rolf said: “With generative AI’s potential to be one of the most transformative technologies of our time, we are excited to expand our focus to invest in some of the most innovative and disruptive venture-backed startups building across generative AI, commerce and payments.”

With the investment, Visa joins other technology companies across the globe trying to enhance generative AI capabilities.

Last week, Indian IT services provider Infosys joined forces with Microsoft to develop solutions powered by generative AI.

Amazon too announced its plans last week to invest $4bn in Anthropic, an AI startup, as part of efforts to boost AI capabilities.