Visa Inc. announced on Monday the launch of a new $100 million generative AI ventures initiative. The payments company aims to invest in the "next generation of companies focused on developing generative AI technologies and applications that will impact the future of commerce and payments."

With a history of being at the forefront of AI use in payments since 1993, Visa will lead the initiative through its global corporate-investment unit, Visa Ventures.

David Rolf, head of Visa Ventures, expressed excitement about expanding their focus to invest in innovative and disruptive venture-backed startups working on generative AI, commerce, and payments.

This move aligns Visa with other financial firms that have embraced this emerging technology. Morgan Stanley, for example, recently became one of the first customers to utilize GPT-4, the newest iteration of Microsoft Corp.-backed Open AI's ChatGPT generative AI.

Visa's shares closed on Monday at $231.27, representing a 0.6% increase. As a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Visa's positive performance comes amid a 0.2% slip for the index. So far this year, Visa shares have risen by 11.3%, outpacing the Dow's 0.9% growth, as well as the S&P 500 index's 11.7% gain and the Nasdaq Composite's 27.2% advance.

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