Voice of the Industry

Mastercard under the lens: 2 weeks of partnerships and product releases in one go

Wednesday 12 October 2022 15:39 CET | Editor: Andra Constantinovici | Voice of the industry

Mastercard has been on fire and we are here to figure out how and why. In the last two weeks alone, the global card scheme made a flurry of announcements coming from quite different parts of the global payments and fintech ecosystem. 


We grouped and analyzed the product launches, strategic partnerships, and subsequent expansion plans that Mastercard made public in the last 15 days judging by a couple of high level topics that distinguished themselves when looking at the big picture. 

- Focus on B2B payments and financial inclusion

- Embedded finance

- The promise of Asia-Pacific

- Where there’s crypto, there’s fraud prevention

- Expanding ecommerce client portfolio


Mastercard under the lense: 2 weeks of partnerships and products releases in one go


Focus on B2B payments and financial inclusion

On 10 October 2022 - Mastercard has announced the launch of cloud-based analytics platform Global Treasury Intelligence. The new analytics platform will reportedly enable organisations to execute more effective and sustainable financial strategies, and support corporate priorities such as cash management, risk assessment, and ESG goals.

The analytics platform will be available to customers in most markets around the world, with users being able to view a digital interactive preview of the service beforehand. 

Mastercard Global Treasury Intelligence was developed in collaboration with Robobai, a provider of source-to-settle analytics with nearly USD 1 trillion dollars of spend under management.

Earlier in 3 October, Mastercard announced partnerships to help small business cardholders optimise business operations, increase cybersecurity, and unlock insurance benefits for employees

According to the card scheme, whoever owned or signed up for a Mastercard BusinessCard and World Elite Mastercard for Business, immediately also signed up for benefits from Mastercard partners such as limited-time offers for Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions, free trials for McAfee cybersecurity tools, discounts for shipping services on Uber Freight or on the Uber Business service, along with multiple other benefits offered by services such as Stride or ShopRunner.

There is a clear indication of a multiple-level approach to customer-centricity when it comes to Mastercard’s client roster.

Business-for-business and financial inclusion in the US and Egypt

Just at the end of September, Mastercard announced its desire to ‘how up for America’s small businesses like they’ve been showing up for communities across the country’, through expanding one of its signature small business initiatives into new territory. Mastercard set up shop with Strive USA, a new effort under the Strive banner of global programmes led by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

But the global card scheme did not keep the inclusion programmes within the confines of the US. Most recently, on 11 October, Mastercard has announced a strategic investment in Nclude, a fintech focused VC investment platform launched in partnership with Egypt’s national banks - Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt and Banque Du Caire - to further boost Egypt’s fintech ecosystem and support the country’s digital transformation journey. 

Nclude is an up-and-coming Egyptian startup launched in March 2022 upon approval by the Central Bank of Egypt, which initially saw an investment of USD 100 million from the 3 national banks as well as Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) and eFinance. With Mastercard joining in, Nclude Fund is reportedly becoming a go-to fund for fintechs looking to grow their operations and services.

Embedded finance

‘Tapping a phone to pay for takeout or virtually hailing a rideshare has become almost second nature for many of us today’ – Mastercard blog, June 2022

It is no secret that Mastercard has been on top of the opportunity offered by embedded finance this year, with a cited estimated market value set to hit USD 7 trillion over the next 10 years within the same blog post. 

Most recently, the way Mastercard acted on riding this wave has been through two relevant partnerships in the field. 

Railsr, DND Finance and Score Credit Mastercard in the UK

Embedded finance platform Railsr and DND Finance, a commercial equipment finance provider, teamed at the end of September 2022 to launch the Score Credit Mastercard.

Branded as the Score Credit Mastercard by DND, it is aimed at personal users and business owners with a less-than-perfect credit record, including entrepreneurs and students. DND uses the Railsr platform for its UK Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), licensing and card services. 

Inswitch partnership in the US

Two days later, US-based fintech Inswitch announced a partnership with Mastercard International to design and deliver digital payment solutions and issuing programmes.

Inswitch would start issuing cards as a Mastercard principal member in Mexico, with plans to expand to key markets in LAC and other regions in the future. Mastercard’s officials said that they are happy to have Inswitch as a Mastercard issuer in Mexico to integrate issuing capabilities and extend the value proposition to all B2C and B2B clients for Inswitch and Mastercard. Inswitch is a company that combines payments, core banking, and issuing products in a single stack that facilities all companies to develop and launch financial services in multiple markets.


Mastercard has been putting a Spotlight on Asia-Pacific for quite a while (which makes sense, considering we are talking about a continent with a credit card penetration of over 50-60% in its Southeast space and Australia.

The promise of Asia-Pacific

Mastercard has been putting a Spotlight on Asia-Pacific for quite a while (which makes sense, considering we are talking about a continent with a credit card penetration of over 50-60% in its Southeast space and Australia. 

Global Data estimates that the credit and charge cards market in Asia-Pacific is poised to register a significant growth of 13.7% in 2022, supported by recovery in economic conditions, rising consumer disposable income, and growing preference towards electronic payments. With an estimated USD 12.7 trillion in 2022, the market is expected to grow further at a CAGR of 9.5% over 2022-25 to reach USD 16.7 trillion in 2025.

Late September Mastercard and TripLink have expanded their partnership across the entire Asia Pacific region to provide businesses with convenient cross-border transactions. The two companies will reportedly bolster their partnership from Hong Kong to Asia Pacific by launching a seamless cross-border payment experience for businesses to enhance travel recovery. TripLink can now issue virtual cards for its Asia Pacific businesses and suppliers, particularly when it comes to the tourism sector. 

According to traveldailynews.asia cited by The Paypers, the tourism industry is going through a surge of B2B payment needs as sales take place in various foreign currencies. Mastercard’s solution with TripLink aims to simplify the sales process.

Mastercard and Grab Launch ’Small Business, Big Dreams’

Just today, on 12 October, Mastercard and Grab have announced the launch of their ’Small Business, Big Dreams’ Programme to boost entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia. 

Continuing its financial inclusion focus, the regional programme aims to digitally upskill gig economy workers and small businesses in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The collaboration is part of the aforementioned Strive Community, the global philanthropic initiative developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital. 

The programme includes the launch of two online business courses for Grab’s driver and delivery-partners aspiring to start new businesses, and small business owners seeking to grow in a competitive digital economy. 

The two new online courses, namely the Driver Entrepreneurship Toolkit and the Small Business Toolkit, were created based on survey insights from over 34,000 driver-partners and 600 small businesses in the region. Although almost all small businesses surveyed use smartphones for their businesses, 42% still rely solely on paper and pen to manage their businesses.

Where there’s crypto, there’s fraud prevention

The crypto and NFT world in its most legitimate and appealing light has become increasingly hard to ignore as a trend. Especially for Mastercard. 

A few weeks ago, hi, a crypto and fiat financial app, has launched a debit card featuring NFT avatar customization, in partnership with Mastercard. As consumer interest in crypto and NFTs continues to grow, Mastercard expressed its intent to make them an accessible payments choice for the communities who wish to use them. 

The hi Debit Card is available in six variants with a range of benefits, depending on membership tier at hi. Membership is obtained by staking hi’s token and starts at less than the equivalent of 10 Euros.

But it’s not all NFTs and butterflies. At the beginning of October, Mastercard debuted a new piece of software called Crypto Secure, which helps banks identify and cut off transactions from fraud-prone crypto exchanges.

The system uses artificial intelligence algorithms to determine the risk of crime associated with crypto exchanges on the Mastercard payment network. It relies on data from the blockchain, a public record of crypto transactions, as well as other sources. 

Mastercard is launching the service powered by CipherTrace against a backdrop of growing crime in the nascent digital asset market. The amount of crypto entering wallets with known criminal connections surged to a record USD 14 billion in 2021, according to data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis cited by The Paypers. And 2022 has seen a spate of high-profile hacks and scams targeting crypto investors.


The crypto and NFT world in its most legitimate and appealing light has become increasingly hard to ignore as a trend. Especially for Mastercard.

The first contactless cards for a quantum world

Most recently, Mastercard has partnered with global technical body EMVco to develop the first cards for issuers that are compatible with the new EMVCo contactless specifications designed to protect against attacks from both traditional and quantum computers.

The new cards are designed to remain compatible with existing acceptance, network, and issuer infrastructure and are available from Giesecke+Devrient and Thales. Mastercard mentioned in its official release that it intends to continue to partner with card manufacturers and will work with its customers to set the pace of transition to these new cards in 2023 and beyond.

Mastercard explained that their experts have long been exploring the potential impact of quantum computing, and in January 2021 the company introduced quantum-resistant Enhanced Contactless specifications. To support their strategy, the card scheme cited Juniper Research data according to which the number of contactless payment devices will surpass 12.5 billion by 2027 with the value of contactless payment transactions expected to reach USD 10 trillion globally by that time.

Bolstering fraud prevention with Ravelin

On 6 October, Mastercard and Ravelin, a UK-based machine learning (ML) fraud platform, have joined forces to deliver a new fraud prevention solution.

Incorporating digital identity verification capabilities from Ekata and real-time fraud insights from Ethoca, Ravelin will help merchants validate a consumer’s identity without adding friction to the process.

As explained by the joint announcement, during a user’s first transaction, Ravelin will draw on Ekata’s transaction risk Application Programming Interface (API) to verify the user’s identity. Ekata then provides a risk score, enabling businesses to make more accurate decisions. Post-transaction, Ravelin will help merchants deflect fraud and prevent chargebacks with Ethoca Alerts and Ethoca Consumer Clarity. 

Combining ML and graph network visualisation, Ravelin helps businesses draw deeper insights from their customer data to detect fraud, account takeover, and promotion abuse, and increase payment acceptance.

Expanding ecommerce client portfolio

Ecommerce card payments are Mastercard’s bread and butter. It fits right that the global card scheme would complete its strategy in the last couple of weeks with partnerships that will expand its presence and product portfolio, especially in the US market.

Co-brand card issuer Chase has partnered with Mastercard and local commerce platform DoorDash in early October in order to launch the DoorDash Rewards Mastercard. The credit card will allow members to save and earn rewards on purchases both on and off the DoorDash platform.

According to Chase representatives cited by mastercard.com, Chase and DoorDash have worked together since 2020, and DoorDash’s first-ever credit card is aimed at clients who want to earn more where they are spending, whether that’s ordering from DoorDash itself or spending in-person at a neighbourhood store.

Simultaneously, ride-hailing operator Uber has partnered up with Marqeta, Mastercard, and Branch to launch Uber Pro Card. An expansion of the Uber Pro driver loyalty programme, the Uber Pro Card offers drivers up to 10% cashback on gas purchases when they achieve Diamond status as an Uber Pro driver. 

A Debit Mastercard Business Card, the Uber Pro Card offers increased purchasing flexibility alongside built-in tools and benefits that help users better manage cash flow, record keeping, and safeguard devices. 

What to take from all this?

We are living strange times. We don’t know with precision where the conversation about the impending recession will take us, but we can look at the actions of a company that virtually has a firm grasp on the global payments space to extract some learnings from its prolific market activity in the past couple of weeks:
  • Pay attention to the Asian Market. It may just be that for all the promise of the Western Markets, Asia-Pacific is one of those safe and resilient bets that may offer better profits in the long run than the immediate promise of a pot of gold. Steady as she goes.

  • Never forget your roots. Mastercard is an American company. It has a global footprint and it grew exponentially in its 55 years. But there is palpable evidence to support the fact that resilience is built and, most of all, maintained through investing in the market and people that you know intimately. Consumer behaviour in the geography you are most familiar with might be the most predictable and the most fertile ground for maintaining growth.

  • Trends, when it comes to payments and commerce, are not fads. While embedded finance is a topic that build itself on the promise of Open Banking, it is now incorporating itself in concrete use-cases and it deserve all the spotlight it gets. Moreover, when a company like Mastercard pays attention to NFTs, maybe they are not yesterday’s fad after all.

Most of all, it is pivotal to pay attention when companies like Mastercard indirectly delineate the strategies both their peers and competitors should watch out for in the coming months by subscribing to The Paypers newsletter to get all the most recent news and analyses directly in your inbox

About Alexandra Constantinovici

Alexandra Constantinovici - The PaypersAlexandra is Senior News Editor at The Paypers. A passionate writer, Alexandra has an extensive background in journalism – as a graduate of Journalism and Communication studies –, as well as editing, publishing, and marketing. She coordinates the news coverage at The Paypers and, together with the team of editors, she strives to bring forward the latest trends for our readers, while investigating and sharing with our community the upcoming innovative industry shifts.

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Keywords: partnership, product launch, embedded finance, ecommerce, loyalty programme, cryptocurrency, B2B payments, contactless payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Mastercard
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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