Mastercard phone app

Mastercard expands Engage and Start Path

On Thursday, Mastercard expanded two startup programs. The firm added nine fintech companies to the new open banking Engage partner network and welcomed seven new companies to the Start Path climate-conscious startup incubator.

The Engage program added Dwolla, fintech Automation, i2c, Link Financial Technology, LoanPro, Nova Credit, Provenir, Synctera, Tern, and Usio, Inc. as the first open banking-focused tech partners. Through this new program, these providers will partner with Mastercard open banking to offer services to their clients.

A fintech group that shares tech

“The partners joining Mastercard Engage are leading the deployment of open banking solutions that are designed with security at the center and will help to meet consumers’ financial needs and enable choice,” Jess Turner, executive vice president, Global Open Banking and API at Mastercard said. “Together, we can enable innovation that will increase financial inclusion and expand access to digital services across the globe.”

Since 2018, nearly 100 partners have joined the Engage program, sharing tech within the Mastercard partner network to build new options for 250 million Mastercard digital accounts, the firm said in a statement.

“Data is a crucial element of the Open Banking movement across the globe,” Dwolla President and COO Dave Glaser said. “At Dwolla, we’re focused on powering innovations with sophisticated account-to-account payment solutions. Our partnership with Mastercard complements our open banking strategies to help increase the capabilities of the payment experience to our network of businesses.”

Mastercard said in a release it has a long-standing track record of working with technology and fintech partners to build the future of financial services and enable more choices for consumers. With three billion cardholders and 93 million merchants, the more partners Mastercard has, the more influential the “flywheel of our network becomes,” the release said.

Start Path Engagement

The Start Path startup engagement program added Carbon Neutral Club, Guava, oneKIN, Palla, SUMA Wealth, Truora, and Yunit to the cohort. The startups join a growing network of more than 300 companies that have graduated from Start Path since 2014, Mastercard said.

Guava, oneKIN, and Yunit will join the “Start Path In Solidarity” pathway launched in 2021, which is exclusively dedicated to supporting early-stage startups led by traditionally underrepresented fintech founders. The firm said this programming is part of their commitment of $500 million in products, services, technology, and financial support to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap.

Mastercard Startpath

Blake Rosenthal, Executive Vice President of fintech & Segment Solutions at Mastercard, said the eight-year track record of startup success continues.

“As we continue our eight-year legacy of successful collaboration with startups around the world
through Start Path, we’re thrilled to welcome seven bright companies into the program whose
beliefs and ambitions match our own,” he said. “The companies we selected are on the pulse of what’s next. Together, we can create an ecosystem where everyone thrives by scaling technology and innovation with trust and security at the center.”

All Start Path companies receive dedicated support and mentorship from Mastercard, access to customers and product teams to help build, deliver and scale solutions, and uncover unique opportunities to co-innovate.

The startups joining the incubator

  • Carbon Neutral Club: A workforce-focused sustainability platform that lets employees calculate, offset and reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Guava: A banking and networking platform for Black creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
  • oneKIN: A mission-driven company focused on providing small businesses with creative and cost-effective technology solutions to help them compete in the digital landscape and grow sustainably.
  • Palla: A platform that enables international peer-to-peer payments on cards from the United States to Latin America in seconds instead of hours or days.
  • SUMA Wealth: A fintech devoted to increasing prosperity and opportunity for young Latinos through culturally relevant financial tools, content, and experiences that empower the community to build wealth and control their financial future.
  • Truora: A technology company that simplifies user interactions from marketing to user acquisition and ensures constant communications with digital users.
  • Yunit: An enterprise service management platform allowing users to participate directly in investment groups on their mobile phones.

Engage program

Through the Engage network, partners have built new forms of payments, tokenization, digital wallets, and point-of-sale solutions, Mastercard said. According to Mastercard’s 2022 New Payment Index, 83% of consumers globally use digital tools for at least one financial task, and more than half use technology for five or more tasks.

Mastercard Engage

With the rapid adoption of consumer-permissioned data access, Mastercard said it would work with technology partners to spur innovation through access to its open banking platform, from lending to payments to financial management.

Rhett Roberts, CEO/Co-Founder LoanPro said they were honored to become a Mastercard Engage partner.

“As the leading API first loan management and servicing technology, our customers depend on and trust our loan management platform to monitor, optimize and defend their extended capital,” he said. “We view the Mastercard Engage program as a promising channel to accelerate technology partnerships, expand our capability to new customers, and introduce new capabilities to our existing client base.”

The firm said that open banking through Mastercard and its technology partners allows businesses to establish direct consumer-permissioned connections with their customers’ bank accounts. Consumer-permissioned relationships enable enterprises to verify funds for payments and payouts, check balances to reduce payment failures, and cut fraud by confirming bank account ownership, the firm said.

Mastercard also said open banking benefits the lending industry: borrowers could directly permit data and insights through the ecosystem to support their lending decisioning processes.

  • Kevin Travers

    Intensely energetic news reporter asking questions covering the collision between Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and everywhere in-between. Studied history at the University of Delaware, learned to write at the Review, and debanked.