Payments

Mastercard’s accelerator program adds 11 fintech startups

Program selects 30 to 40 startups annually

Mastercard is boosting the efforts of fintechs who are bridging the gap in payment services for retailers and other businesses through their program.

The Purchase, New York-based payments provider added 11 startups to its Accelerate fintech program, including blockchain and open banking software startups, financial inclusion platforms and carbon footprint measurement products among others. 

Founded in 2014, the Mastercard program selects 30 to 40 startups annually and works with 10 to 12 companies for six months in its virtual program to support their goals, provide technical guidance, operational support and plug them into Mastercard’s network with commercial engagements, said Amy Neale, senior vice president of Start Path and fintech at Mastercard.

Many of these companies, ranging from those in seed stage to ones that have raised $100 million in venture capital, become customers, partners or vendors with Mastercard.

The startups from the network have later raised $2.7 billion in capital and some have collaborated with Mastercard or major banks, merchants and other financial organizations.

“We recognize partnership is key to developing innovative solutions, democratizing financial services and including many more people that we see as innovators,” she said.

Four of the companies are disruptors, including one tackling cybersecurity issues.  

  • Aper partners with financial institutions to develop their own e-commerce marketplaces, enabling them to enter a new market, cross-sell financial products and protect from disruption.
  • Bit Capital is a Braizilian blockchain-based open banking platform that enables customers to deliver their own digital financial products securely and quickly through their middleware and works with both traditional and challenger banks.
  • Finerio Connect is the first end-to-end open banking and personal finance management application programming interface in Latin America that empowers fintechs and financial institutions to build customized and rapid solutions as a data aggregator.
  • PhishAR provides the world’s first app-based phishing-resistant, two-factor authenticator to help eliminate phishing-based financial fraud and ransomware attacks. Individuals use the camera in their smartphones to see if a website is real or a fake hacked website in real time, Neale said.

The company works with fintechs to connect them with new markets and help them create strategies to conduct business in a new way, she said.

“We get to see a ton of really new innovations and the coronavirus pandemic brings new challenges to companies that are growing and scaling,” Neale said. 

The other companies joining the Start Path network include financial services and merchant platforms.

  • Doconomy offers digital tools such as the Åland Index CO2 emission calculator to educate consumers and is already partnering with Mastercard to encourage more sustainable consumption choices that benefit the planet.
  • Hello Tractor is revolutionizing mechanization services across emerging markets by bringing together tractor owners and smallholder farmers through Internet of Things technology and allowing farmers to access affordable tractor services, plant on time and increase yields.
  • Izicap helps local merchants thrive by turning cardholders’ payment cards into loyalty cards and merchants’ payment terminals into powerful marketing devices.
  • Juvo analyzes mobile network data to build financial identities for the 68% of adults worldwide with no formal credit history.
  • Olive is a card-linked platform for organizations driven to help their members take the first step towards realizing personal, financial and socially impactful goals.
  • vcita helps small business owners build a business with one app to manage clients, time and money.
  • Xformative empowers embedded financial services via its cloud-native issuer processor platform, designed with a unique suite of modular Application Programming Interfaces that can be configured to almost any use case. 

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