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January 27, 2023

On the wires

Visa, Mastercard Pin Hopes on China Reopening as Travel Boom Fades

Reuters

Mastercard Inc  and Visa Inc will rely on China reopening to give travel spending a boost, Wall Street analysts said, as the pace of growth in other parts of the world eases from a post-pandemic boom. Executives at the payments companies on Thursday pointed to further room for travel recovery in China, which earlier this month reopened its borders after dropping its stringent COVID-19 control measures.

January 26, 2023

On the wires

Ubirider and Mastercard Partner to Provide Mobility-as-a-Service Solutions for Transit Operators Globally

PR Newswire

Mastercard and Ubirider, Portugal-based makers of the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform Pick designed to serve riders, transport operators and cities, have entered into an agreement to jointly offer Innovative digital solutions that combine operational, payment and ticketing resources and data for public transport agencies and operators. Through this partnership, Mastercard and Ubirider will look to expand on the early success of the products in Portugal to simplify access and payments for mobility services.

January 25, 2023

On the web

Mastercard and ZoodPay Join Forces to Launch the First Virtual Installment Card Across EEMEA

ZoodPay

ZoodPay, a leading digital lending platform for e-commerce in the Middle East and Central Asia, has entered into a strategic partnership with Mastercard to launch the first-of-its-kind prepaid virtual installment card in the Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) region. This collaboration will expand financial and digital inclusion, benefiting the underbanked population and those with no credit data or limited access to finance.

January 19, 2023

On the web

India May Give Visa and Mastercard Access to Its Payments Market

CTM File

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is reportedly drawing up plans to link credit cards issued by Visa and Mastercard to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the country's popular online payments protocol. According to news portal The Morning Context, two industry executives have said that the central bank will decide before April. A decision in favour of the two US companies would mark a distinct change in; as Bloomberg comments: “India’s dealings with American card networks has been frosty.

January 17, 2023

On the wires

upSWOT and Mastercard are Partnering on Open Banking Data Analytics to Deliver Embedded Finance and Underwriting Tools

AP NEWS

When small business owners permission secure access to their financial data via open banking, it opens the door to an expanding set of financial experiences designed to help them better understand and manage their money. One prime example is expanding access to specialized lending products. Another is better financial insights across their business.

January 6, 2023

On the web

Mastercard Launches Web3-Focused Artist Incubator With Polygon

TechCrunch

"Mastercard, one of the biggest financial payments providers in the world, is launching a web3-focused incubator to help artists connect with fans through a new medium, the company shared at CES 2023 on Friday. Mastercard partnered with Polygon, a scaling blockchain built on top of Ethereum, which has been making huge strides in the Web 2.0 ecosystem lately. In the past year, Polygon partnered with a number of other big brands like Starbucks for its Odyssey digital collectible rewards program and Disney for its accelerator program, while also having major clothing brands like Prada and Adidas launch NFT projects through its blockchain."

January 5, 2023

On the web

Why the FTC Isolated Mastercard With Its Pre-Christmas Consent Order

Digital Transactions

“When the Federal Trade Commission announced two days before Christmas it had leveled a preliminary consent order against Mastercard Inc. to correct what the agency saw as roadblocks the card company had erected against routing online debit transactions to competing networks, the move may have surprised at least some observers. The surprise lay not in what the FTC had to say, but in what it omitted: the order left out Visa Inc., Mastercard’s main rival and a company the Commission had identified only two months earlier as a fellow actor in blocking debit routing to other networks.”

December 28, 2022

On the web

The Mastercard Economics Institute’s Economic Outlook for 2023: What the ‘Multi-Speed’ Global Economy Means

Middle East/Africa Hub

“The Mastercard Economics Institute released their annual forecast for the coming year which shows how a new multi-speed global economy will impact growth and consumer spending behavior. A multi-speed global economy means some markets will feel the impact of inflation and rising interest rates more keenly. ‘Economic Outlook 2023’ draws on a multitude of public and proprietary data sets, as well as models that are intended to estimate economic activity across the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) region.”

December 26, 2022

On the wires

December 23, 2022

On the web

FTC Orders Mastercard to Open Tokens to Rival Debit Networks

American Banker

“Mastercard must provide competing debit networks with the keys needed to convert tokenized card account information — which has been encoded for security purposes — back to the original account number for online transactions, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Friday. The FTC voted 4-0 to issue an administrative complaint and approve a proposed consent order alleging that Mastercard’s practices for e-commerce transactions violate provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act known as the Durbin amendment, the agency said in a press release. (Subscription required)”

December 21, 2022

On the web

Polygon Partners with Hi and Mastercard for the First Personalized NFT Debit Card

The Cryptonomist

“Polygon is partnering with neo-banking app Hi and Mastercard to launch the first personalized NFT debit card. Holders of the new card will be able to spend their crypto and accumulate Spend Rewards of up to 10%. Basically, Polygon wallet holders will be able to personalize their new Mastercard debit card with a favorite image, in the NFT format. Not only that, the card will be able to be used to spend cryptocurrency and fiat at more than 90 million Mastercard merchants scattered around the world.”

December 19, 2022

On the web

Bon Voyage to Foreign Exchange Fees?

Mastercard

“Whenever James Lynn returned home to London from a beach holiday in the Mediterranean, his post-vacation calm would shatter the moment he saw the charges on his bank statement for using his debit card abroad…Travelers have long chafed at these fees, which help cover the costs of processing international payments, and a new wave of challenger banks and startups are finding ways to harness technology to tackle the challenge. That’s how Currensea was born.”

December 15, 2022

On the wires

Rakuten France Launches New Integrated Payment and Cashback Solution, Club R Pay

Businesswire

“Rakuten France has announced the launch of a brand-new integrated payment solution, Club R Pay, becoming the first e-commerce player to offer such a system in marketplaces. A universal integrated payment solution, Club R Pay facilitates purchases for the 12 million members of the Club R loyalty program on over 2,000 sites while they enjoy their Rakuten rewards. This new initiative allows Rakuten to streamline the purchasing process and support its partners in their digitalisation and development…Thanks to strategic partnerships with Mastercard, the global payments network operating across 210 countries and territories, and Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform who will power single-use virtual cards, Club R Pay provides an additional security guarantee and reduces payment risks.”

December 7, 2022

On the wires

Marqeta Announces Integration with Mastercard Track Instant Pay Virtual Card Solution

Businesswire

“Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform, today announced that it has integrated Mastercard Track™ Instant Pay, a next-generation virtual card solution that uses machine learning and straight-through processing to enable instant payment of supplier invoices. With Track Instant Pay, Marqeta customers in the U.S. will be able to immediately authorize a payment to suppliers after invoices are received instead of waiting for invoices to be approved manually, freeing up time to focus on growing their businesses instead of administrative tasks. This payment process empowers Marqeta customers to pay invoices more efficiently and access cost savings by avoiding costly check processing fees.”

December 6, 2022

On the web

Why MIT’s Crypto Expert Loves Bear Markets in Tech

Mastercard

“Today, she is one of the world’s foremost experts on digital currencies. But as a PhD candidate in computer science at MIT in the mid-2010s, Neha Narula had little interest in cryptocurrency. Then in late 2015, a friend mentioned how bitcoin was struggling to scale its infrastructure to handle an increasing volume of transactions. Fresh from completing her doctorate and hungry to improve people’s lives, she spotted a golden opportunity. By applying her expertise in distributed systems and databases, Narula could play an important role in improving blockchain technology, ushering in a new phase of money exchange that was faster, easier and, most importantly, more democratic. Within a few months she was back at MIT, immersing herself in researching crypto at the university’s Media Lab. Now she runs the lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, where she and her team tackle the technology’s thorniest challenges, including scalability, security and privacy. The Mastercard Newsroom recently sat down with Narula to learn more about the challenge the crypto ecosystem faces, the potential of central bank-issued digital currencies, and the benefits of bear markets.”

November 29, 2022

On the web

Mastercard Files for Another Web3 and Crypto Trademark

Cryptopolitan

“You are mistaken if you believe that the crypto winter has kept investors away from the DeFi Market. Web3 is the new battleground for the majority of businesses as they strive to establish their presence. Mastercard is not an exception, as the corporation submitted an application for yet another active trademark on Monday. The focus of the upcoming operation is on cryptocurrencies. Mastercard is rapidly expanding within Web3, with a focus on cryptocurrencies in particular. Monday, trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis announced the new trademark on his Twitter page. Mastercard’s most recent effort in this regard was filing a trademark application for crypto-related security services. The “Mastercard Crypto Secure” application was submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office on November 22. This filing follows those trademarks the financial behemoth submitted in April to enter the metaverse and adopt NFTs. Following this, the financial entity began cooperating with NFT markets and Web3 providers to enable users to make NFT purchases using their Mastercard cards.”

On the wires

Mastercard Brings The Belle Block™ to Latin America and Caribbean to Educate and Empower Women in Web3 and Crypto

PR Newswire

“Mastercard introduced The Belle Block™ in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), during the 11th edition of the Mastercard LAC Innovation Forum. The Belle Block™ is a community launched in June 2022 to educate and empower women and non-binary individuals to benefit from Web3 technology and crypto. This expansion to the region comes in partnership with WAGMI LatAm, an education initiative aimed at bringing 5 million Latin women into Web3 by 2030. Mastercard believes in the power of technology and its ability to build a better future that includes everyone. This new group focuses on delivering on key building blocks: Business Growth, Education, Leadership, Legal & Regulatory Advocacy and Entrepreneurship.”

November 9, 2022

On the web

J.P. Morgan and Mastercard Modernize Account-Based Payments with Innovative ‘Pay-by-Bank’ Solution

Mastercard

“Cash, check or charge? How quaint. The way we move money — and what we consider money — has changed dramatically over the last decade. The use of cash is declining, and personal checks are largely on life support. Consumers are looking for greater choices like mobile payments, crypto wallets, and person-to-person payment apps, which are taking their place alongside staple payment methods like cards and bank-to-bank ACH payments.   But technology is transforming even as consumer expectations for seamless payments rise. The latest twist on ACH payments— which account for trillions of dollars of volume each year and continues to grow — is the application of open banking technology and makes the process even simpler and more secure.  Launched by J.P. Morgan Payments and Mastercard, Pay-by-Bank is an ACH payment that uses open banking, which enables consumers to permission their financial data to be shared seamlessly between trusted parties to let them pay bills directly from their bank account with greater security. No longer will they be faced with the tedium of typing in routing and account numbers each time they need to pay a bill. For billers and merchants, it automates consumer onboarding and reduces the risk and cost of storing bank account information.”

November 8, 2022

On the web

Mastercard’s CEO Explains When Cryptocurrencies Will Become Mainstream

CryptoPotato

“Michael Miebach – Chief Executive Officer of Mastercard – thinks it will take more time than expected for crypto to become mainstream. However, he is optimistic that the asset class will become much more attractive to people once watchdogs impose appropriate regulations. In a recent interview, Mastercard’s CEO outlined that an increasing number of investors want to delve into the cryptocurrency market. The payment services giant allows them to do so “as easy and more importantly as safe” as any rival company, he added. Miebach sees a future world where most consumers across the globe use bitcoin in their everyday transactions and settlements. Nonetheless, he believes this will not happen in the upcoming months: “I think it’s a long way to go before crypto becomes mainstream.””

November 3, 2022

On the web

Mastercard: Scaling Crypto Innovation, from Blockchain-Based Media to Web3 for Emerging Markets and Beyond

Mastercard

“Seven startups from around the world seek to champion innovation through the Mastercard Start Path program: There is no single vision for the crypto economy other than anyone who uses crypto should be able to do so simply and safely. For Mastercard, it’s about offering choice in how people pay, spend and buy crypto. Our role is to provide a best-in-class user experience and scale to offer this choice. NFTs, blockchain gaming and metaverse experiences could transform how consumers shop and communicate, however we need to collaborate and bring together tech, banking, fintech and crypto to unlock this potential…Through the Mastercard Start Path global startup engagement program, we work with digital asset, blockchain and cryptocurrency-based companies that share a vision to make blockchain technology and digital assets more accessible. These companies are making strides to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 and meet consumers where they are today. We’re welcoming a new cohort of startups to ease access to digital assets, build communities for creators and empower people to innovate for the future through Web3 technologies.” Companies: Digital Treasures Center (DTC) [Singapore]; Fasset [Abu Dhabi]; Loot Bolt [U.S.]; Quadrata [U.S.]; Stable® [Colombia]; TBTM (Take Back the Mic) Studios [Dubai]; Uptop [U.S.]”

November 2, 2022

On the web

Payments Platform StraitsX to Show Real-World Stablecoin Use at Singapore Fintech Festival

TechCrunch

“Singapore-based StraitsX, a payments infrastructure for digital assets, will pilot stablecoin applications at the ongoing Singapore Fintech Festival. StraitsX has partnered Mastercard, IDEMIA, The HBAR Foundation, and Carbonseed.Earth to explore advantages of stablecoins such as higher payment efficiency, financial inclusion and energy-efficient transactions.”

On the wires

McAfee Unveils Partnership with Mastercard to Offer US Cardholders Online Protection Software

“Today, McAfee Corp., a global leader in online protection, announced an exclusive partnership with Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, to offer Mastercard personal and small-medium size business cardholders access to award-winning online protection solutions. In 2021, 83% of organizations reported experiencing phishing attacks, a 46% increase over 2020, and a number that is expected to grow in 2022. Mastercard is dedicated to connecting and powering an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. Providing Mastercard cardholders with the tools to help combat growing security threats is one of the many steps towards combating bad actors and stopping damage from major breaches before they do lasting harm. McAfee offers for Mastercard US cardholders are…”

October 25, 2022

On the web

Mastercard Users Can Now Use Rewards Points in Gaming (APAC)

ChannelLife New Zealand

“Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency. It says the MGX platform is the world’s first conversion engine that allows consumers to convert unspent rewards points into gaming currency across nearly 4,000 gaming titles. Mastercard says it works through a simple API integration on the loyalty platform, allowing fast and seamless redemption. The company says with COVID-19 and its accompanying restrictions affecting once regular activities such as shopping, travel, and dining, people have increasingly turned to alternative avenues of entertainment such as gaming to satisfy their need for richer and more diverse experiences. Simultaneously, Mastercard says consumers have been constrained by their inability to redeem their accumulated rewards points, triggering a sense of dissatisfaction amongst them while also posing a significant financial liability for loyalty program owners. The company says MGX presents itself as an intuitive, innovative, and intelligent solution that addresses this gap in the ecosystem.”

NBB Collaborates with Mastercard to Launch 100% Recycled Cards

Middle East/Africa Hub

“The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has recently announced its shift to 100% recycled plastic cards in partnership with Mastercard. This long-term initiative is part of the bank’s ongoing efforts to embed environmental sustainability within its daily operations. In addition to the bank’s continuous strides towards implementing ESG practices, NBB will now produce all of its credit and prepaid cards with 100% recyclable material to reduce the bank’s environmental impact, plastic waste and pollution. The recent initiative will be implemented on all newly procured cards in line with NBB’s commitment to responsible banking. Through the partnership, NBB aims to decrease its annual production of plastic after studies revealed that around 6 billion payment cards are produced annually and replaced every 3 to 5 years, resulting in an increase in harmful landfill waste across the world.”

October 24, 2022

On the web

Visa And Mastercard Need Solid Layer-2 Infrastructure To Process Payments In The Metaverse

Cryptonews

“The future of Visa and Mastercard may reside in the Metaverse. Both payment processing giants have made inroads in the virtual world, even though they may not use Ethereum for a broader rollout. In addition, other scalable networks provide viable opportunities to process payments for the Metaverse.  Everyone is paying attention to Web3 and where that technology will lead us. Some expect a big virtual world that breaks down the barrier between digital and real-world life. Others see it more as an entertainment space where they can hang out. Regardless of the vision, there will be a need to process payments. Moreover, not all payments need to be in cryptocurrency, either. Both Visa and Mastercard acknowledge the underlying potential of the Metaverse. Although these companies combine for over $17 trillion in payment volumes, there is always room for future growth. Exploring opportunities in the virtual world is the next major frontier for both providers.  Mastercard has already made inroads in the Metaverse with its Pride Plaza teleporter. It is established in Decentraland through a partnership with Decentral Games. Such an advertising partnership brings much attention to the brand being onboard and Decentral Games and how they tackle Metaverse growth. Additionally, all advertising revenue from this deal is used to buy back $ICE tokens and take them out of circulation.  Visa has taken a slightly different route. The company is cautiously exploring cryptocurrencies through its partnership with Crypto.com, one of the biggest household names in the cryptocurrency segment. Making it easier for consumers to use and spend cryptocurrencies is critical. More importantly, these cards work through existing payment rails while adding utility to the crypto industry.”

October 17, 2022

On the web

Mastercard to Bring Crypto Trading Capabilities to Banks

Businesswire

“Mastercard today introduces Crypto SourceTM, a new program to enable financial institutions to bring secure crypto trading capabilities and services to their customers. The 2022 Mastercard New Payments Index reported that 29% of respondents globally hold cryptocurrency as an investment, with another 65% indicating a preference for crypto-related services to be provided by their current trusted financial institution.* In partnership with regulated and licensed crypto custody providers, Mastercard’s financial institution partners will gain access to a comprehensive suite of buy, hold and sell services for select crypto assets, augmented with proven identity, cyber, security and advisory services. This Crypto Source offering is complemented by Mastercard Crypto SecureTM to bring additional security to the crypto ecosystem and support card issuers in their compliance with complex regulations. Now, Mastercard’s suite of crypto-related offerings for banks and fintechs includes…”

Visa, Mastercard Under Fresh FTC Investigation Over Debit Card Routing – WSJ

Reuters

“The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc’s security tokens restrict debit card routing competition on online payments, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The credit card giants are already being probed by the Commission for allegedly blocking merchants from routing payments over other debit card networks, the report said.  The FTC has expanded its focus in recent months to examine whether the companies’ security technology, which replaces sensitive account information with a unique digital identifier called a token, further stifles processing debit card transactions on rival networks, the report said.”

October 14, 2022

On the web

Mastercard Focusing on 5 Key Areas to Turn Crypto Into ‘an Everyday Way to Pay’

Bitcoin News

“Mastercard highlighted on Wednesday five different areas it is working on in order to “turn cryptocurrencies into an everyday way to pay.” Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products & Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, explained: “Digital assets like cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies [CBDCs] have the potential to transform the financial system’s infrastructure.” He added that non-fungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain gaming, and metaverse experiences “could change how consumers shop and communicate.””

October 11, 2022

On the web

Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence are Expected to be the Top Technologies Driving the Growth of Fintech, Finds Mastercard Study (Middle East & Turkey)

Middle East/Africa Hub

“Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are the top technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that are powering fintech solutions, found a Mastercard study on the state of fintech in the Middle East and Turkey markets*.  The white paper titled ‘The Future of Fintech: Smart, Scalable, Collaborative’ was released during Fintech Surge in GITEX Global 2022, one of the leading technology events in the Middle East. Mastercard is a Strategic Sponsor of Fintech Surge where senior global and regional executives are speaking at multiple panel discussions, fireside chats and presentations.”

October 10, 2022

On the web

Mastercard Launches Quantum Computer-Proof Contactless Card

Tech Monitor

“Financial services giant Mastercard has developed a new type of contactless card that incorporates quantum cryptography, designed to protect against hacks from current classical computers and future quantum computers. The enhanced contactless card uses standards recently revealed by finance industry technical body EMVCo known as “the EMV Contactless Kernel Specifications” that work with all existing payment terminals while also providing higher levels of security that are also “future proof”. When quantum computing technology reaches a point known as quantum supremacy, where the machines can perform near errorless calculations impossible with classical computers, it will also render current cryptography solutions simple to crack, meaning specific quantum security will be required. Experts expect this point to be reached by 2025-2027.    Mastercard says its new card is a “significant milestone that brings quantum-era security and privacy protection to contactless payments”. It will come with next-generation algorithms and cryptographic keys that have been designed to be fast, ensuring a contactless payment happens in under half a second, according to payment vendor, along with enhanced privacy protections to reduce the amount of account information shared between the consumer device and merchant terminal.”