Mastercard accelerates its customers’ crypto capabilities
Recognising that “consumer interest and investment in digital currencies are growing”, the company has decided that exploring new forms of digital transactions would benefit customers, merchants, financial service providers and others.
The programme is being targetted specifically at startups and FinTechs with the aim of helping them develop quickly. This news has been broken just as cryptocurrency wallet company became the first company of its kind to receive a Mastercard principal membership.
Cryptocurrency: a maturing market
Raj Dhamodharan, Executive VP, Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships, Mastercard, commented that the company recognised the changes occurring in the payments solutions space, particularly the maturation of cryptocurrency in global economics:
“Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay.”
Previously known as ‘E-Coin’, Wirex subsequently rebranded but not before already accruing over 100,000 users in its first year (the company was founded in 2016).
With an executive leadership team combining over 40 years of financial experience between them, the company is distinctive for its unique ‘two-way card’ that allows consumers to pay in either cryptocurrency or fiat, whichever is stronger at the time of transaction.
Regarding the Mastercard development, Pavel Matveev, CEO and Co-Founder of Wirex, added, “We are very excited for Wirex to be the first crypto-native company granted principal membership from Mastercard.
“It represents a growing interest and recognition in the acceptance of cryptocurrency by leading bodies and regulators and will help us to realise our vision of empowering everyone to experience a world where all currencies, traditional and crypto, are equal.”
Calling its new programme “simple, fast, compliant and progressive”, Mastercard’s Accelerate provides companies seeking to enter the crypto space with a refined single entry-point and growth assistance.
This includes access to Mastercard’s technology, insights and cybersecurity services, allowing even brand new startups to quickly get a foot in the market, engage customers and drive faster innovation.
Fostering the crypto-market may form part of the company’s encompassing goal of democratising finance and enabling a more inclusive transactions ecosystem. Mastercard added that it has streamlined the approval process for those wishing to trade in crypto, although some strict principles still applied:
- Companies must invest in robust data-protection infrastructure to safeguard customer information.
- A level playing field must be delivered for all stakeholders.
- All operations must conform to each region’s laws and regulations, particularly with regard to anti-money laundering.
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG