With open-banking initiatives growing fast along with payments, Mastercard Inc. late Tuesday launched its Start Path Open Banking global program.
The program, which is the latest track of Mastercard’s Start Path Global program that supports later-stage fintech startups, will introduce five open-banking startups to Mastercard’s open-banking executives, customers, and partners. This introduction, which will take place over a three-month period, will allow the five startups to leverage Mastercard’s knowledge, uncover opportunities for innovation, and learn more about Mastercard’s open-banking platforms, Finicity and Aiia, Mastercard says.
Open-banking platforms enable fintechs to access consumer accounts held at banks to verify account ownership and balances. The open-banking trend has taken on increasing importance over the past decade with the emergence and growth of non-bank providers of payments services.
The five startups in Mastercard’s program are: Dapi, a provider of a payment application programming interface that enables acceptance of account-to-account payments and a source of tools for enterprise payments; Finantier, an open-finance platform enables digital and financial services across Southeast Asia; mmob Ltd., whose technology enables integration of third-party products without coding; Mono Technologies Nigeria Ltd., which enables businesses in Africa to access financial data and process direct bank payments; and Paywallet LLC, which works with lenders and other financing providers to enable repayments directly from payroll deductions.
The five companies were chosen because Mastercard saw opportunities to work with them to accelerate the exchange of data and initiation of payments, Blake Rosenthal, executive vice president, fintech and segment solutions for Mastercard, says by email.
“Startups in this cohort are expanding access to innovative and personalized financial solutions for the underbanked population through rich open-banking data, which aligns closely with Mastercard’s mission of driving financial inclusion,” Rosenthal says. “We believe innovative fintechs and bold ideas should be supported by a partner whose beliefs and ambition match their own. We help fintech partners grow and we learn from them.”
Mastercard has partnerships with fintechs in 172 countries and has ties to more than 300 startups through its Start Path program, Rosenthal adds.
Mastercard’s Start Path Open Banking global program assumes APIs are the cornerstone of any open-banking platform, according to the company. “Developers are familiar with integrating with multiple APIs across the IT ecosystem and have an expectation for self-service features with quality documentation and tooling,” Jess Turner, executive vice president, global open banking and API for Mastercard, says by email. “That’s why Mastercard is focused on delivering a developer-first API experience.”
Turner adds that open banking is a platform for innovation, and that Mastercard has only just begun to scratch the surface. Next-generation services could include budgeting, payments, investing, lending and beyond, she says.
“Open-banking services can foster innovation across industries, from insurance to health care to digital identity, to expedite onboarding processes for consumers,” Turner says. “As consumer expectations, technology, and the competitive landscape evolve, it will be critical to increase data sources and data quality, as well as deepen data intelligence and analytics.”