Mastercard’s Start Path program adds 10 fintechs

Startups have the opportunity to connect to partners in Mastercard’s banking and merchant ecosystem

Mastercard is working to address the needs of the underbanked by supporting fintech companies through its startup engagement program, Start Path.

Start Path has added 10 fintechs to participate in the six-month program to co-innovate and use Mastercard’s technology and network to drive innovation. The startups will have the opportunity to connect to partners in Mastercard’s banking and merchant ecosystem to help scale their businesses.

Founded in 2014, the program has had more than 250 startups participate that have gone on to raise $2.9 billion in post-program investments. 

Amy Neale, senior vice president of Start Path and fintech at Mastercard, said in an interview with FinLedger that Mastercard is looking to work closely with these fintech companies to democratize financial access, financial services and bring everybody into the financial ecosystem. 

“We see that a lot of individuals who are driven to start something in order to fix what they’ve experienced themselves,” Neale said. “When it comes to that democratization piece, what we think about is, companies that are very much focused on including people who are currently excluded, driving efficiencies to make experiences and financial services more slick and sticky and ensuring that more people can participate when they might not have been able to previously.” 

Every year the program evaluates somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 companies and then ultimately selects between 30 and 40 in a “highly selective” process, Neale said. 

One of those startups that made it into the program is Mocafi, a platform that aims to help the underbanked with digital banking, credit building along with personal wealth coaching.

Mocafi Chief Executive Wole Coaxum said in an interview with FinLedger that being a part of the program was a natural extension of its partnership with Mastercard. 

“For us to come out of this program in a position to have a meaningful impact on those vulnerable populations that have otherwise been overlooked from an innovation perspective — that’s a game changer,” Coaxum said. 

Here is the full list of the latest companies joining the Start Path program: 

  • Carry1st is bridging the digital divide by leveraging mobile technology, payment gateways and culturally relevant content to serve the first generation of African smartphone users.
  • FISPAN is a contextual platform that embeds business banking services within Enterprise Resource Planning and Accounting applications that clients can rely on to run their businesses.
  • Lendio provides a full-service approach to small business financing, from technology infrastructure for financial institutions to access to growth capital.
  • LISNR connects online to offline customer journeys globally using ultrasonic data-over-sound technology that enables proximity verification and contactless transactions for merchants, financial service providers and mobility companies.
  • Mocafi is a financial services platform designed to help the underbanked with digital banking and credit building along with personal wealth coaching.
  • Mo Technologies offers an innovative credit scoring model for financial and non-financial institutions that helps to extend more credit products to more customers in all segments.
  • Panda Remit is building a global financial platform where money is borderless, allowing for safe, convenient and low-cost money transfers.
  • Paycode provides a low-cost biometric online and offline banking and payment system that solves the three key challenges of the unbanked last mile: identity, connectivity and cost.
  • Fanbank/Plink is a commerce automation platform created to help grow small businesses by increasing customer lifetime value, attracting local shoppers and transforming point-of-sale terminals.
  • Subaio offers a white-label subscription management service for banks, allowing users to track and cancel subscriptions directly from their own bank.

Also, this week, Mastercard invested in Infinicept, a Denver-based embedded payments provider.

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