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Mastercard supports startups and fintech industry

Mastercard is taking big steps towards embracing novel fintech. Alejandro Banegas recently announced his initiatives in this field. The program aims to onboard partners and provide immediate access to a cross-functional team of experts. This new plan was designed by the Mastercard Accelerate and Start Path platforms. The move offers an easier way for the payments giant to onboard new tech.



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There is innovation in Mastercard’s DNA. As a technology company, it places significant importance on supporting to the fintech industry in particular startups. Alejandro Banegas, Business Development Director, explained the two most relevant initiatives in this field.

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Mastercard’s Accelerate program

The first initiative is Accelerate, a program designed to boost the growth of the fintech industry. “As a technology company in the payments world, we intend to accelerate the development of payment models for startups and fintech in Europe. What we have done is to make the integration model with Mastercard and innovative products more flexible so that innovation can be launched on the market in a short time,” said Alejandro Banegas.

In other words, this project is designed to support the plans of companies in this sector, which is constantly evolving, through personalized agreements that support innovation, including access to information, technology, and investment. Accelerate is a unique gateway to many ways in which Mastercard can leverage to help fintech companies around the world grow and evolve in a sustainable way.

Mastercard provides all its capacity for service and innovation in novel payment models such as N26 or Revolut. The resources provided include Mastercard’s licensing specialists to support the expansion of these companies, the ability to connect to process assets within the market. They are also supported by the Mastercard Advisors team, with knowledge and data in each market. The program also provides advice from company’s experts.

Start Path program

The other initiative Banegas highlighted is Start Path, his startup accelerator, which was launched in 2015. More than 200 startups have already passed through it. Every year, 40 of the 1,600 that apply to the program, become part of it. “It is a six-month virtual program in which we try to connect the innovation of startups, especially in the field of fintech. This is where we operate and where we can help them scale up, with our entire global ecosystem of banks, shops, and partners,” he said. It carefully connects the right partners with the right startups, always with the goal of building the future of commerce together.

The idea is to understand the innovation that startups want to develop and to discern what is truly relevant and what fits to scale with their partners. “They are programs to accompany and amplify their solution,” Banegas added. We must not forget that in today’s business environment, characterized by competitiveness and a multitude of companies, startups around the world are looking for global opportunities to rapidly increase their business.

Start Path was born with the intention of providing top startups a shortcut to success. Among the advantages offered by the program, it is worth noting that it is not necessary for startups to move their headquarters or alter their work rhythm. There is no distribution of company shares, immediate access to Mastercard experts, as well as the possibility of accessing pilot program.

The entrepreneurial environment

Something that characterizes Mastercard is that it is very active in congresses and meetings in the entrepreneurial field. Proof of this is that in 2020 it will participate in 4YFN again, the “most relevant event in Spain in this field of entrepreneurship and startups”. It is organized within the framework of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, promoted by GSMA, and brings together more than 25,000 attendees including entrepreneurs, international investors, corporations, leading experts, accelerators and new companies.

A novelty of this edition will be the development of a fintech hub, an area dedicated to discussing opportunities and bringing partners together in the fintech environment. Mastercard will be the main sponsor. Although held in Spain, it is a global event. Afterward, Mastercard will attend Money 20/20, which will take place in June, in Amsterdam, and which will offer a clear vision of the agenda of technology-driven disruption.

Recently, it was announced that Mastercard has become a new strategic partner of the Spanish Association of Fintech and Insurtech (AEFI). “This is a measure that is in line with supporting the Spanish fintech ecosystem. We want to closely follow how the ecosystem develops, especially the purely Fintech part. Therefore, we are working on a project to deepen some challenges in the world of payment technology,” said Banegas. The alliance between both organizations will allow initiatives to be developed to improve the payment methods sector in Spain.

Mastercard will become White Paper sponsor

As a result of this agreement, Mastercard will sponsor the next White Paper on Paytech, which will be prepared with AEFI in the first half of 2020. It will carry out a complete analysis of the situation of the new payment models developed in Spain by innovative companies, identifying some regulatory proposals and solutions that will result in best practices for the sector and specifically for companies oriented towards payment solutions.

In addition, this agreement between Mastercard and AEFI serves to promote the development of the Fintech ecosystem, to attract talent and investment. Also to promote the creation of technological and economic communities, in the environment of electronic payments, always from a point of view based on innovation.

However, Mastercard’s Business Development Director Alejandro Banegas said that the fintech sector is a fairly consolidated reality in Spain. For example, the fintech Pagantis closed a financing round of $75 million this year, “proof that this market has an interesting level of consolidation.” However, it recognizes that it still has the capacity to go further, if compared with other more advanced markets, such as the United Kingdom. In his opinion, the company is in a moment of accompanying the launch of new and interesting projects in the digital field.


(Featured image by TheDigitalWay via Pixabay)

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Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.