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Innovating acceptance: Mastercard launches program for startups seeking to extend digital payments

2 mai 2024

Six startups join the new Start Path Acceptance program to expand the acceptance ecosystem around the world – from smart routing to cloud-led solutions

Mastercard today announced the expansion of its award-winning startup engagement program, Start Path, welcoming six late-stage startups from around the world that are playing a role in growing the payments acceptance ecosystem.

The ability to accept electronic payments has been critical to shaping the future of commerce and spurring the secular shift to digital – unlocking new use cases and enhancing expectations for speed, simplicity and safety. Mastercard is at the center of this digitization, bringing forth new ways to pay while fortifying trust across all payment forms and flows.

With a global acceptance footprint that has doubled in just the last five years and includes more than 3.3 billion cards, Mastercard takes a partnership-led approach, connecting with fintech experts to solve critical problems facing the wider digital economy.

The inaugural Start Path Acceptance cohort is comprised of startups that are driving innovative solutions across a variety of use cases, including creating low-cost solutions for small businesses, enabling non-traditional channel acceptance, and providing holistic business management experiences in payments and beyond.

The startups joining the program will bring invaluable expertise to the table to inspire and inform Mastercard’s payments strategy and help solve for customer pain points. Throughout the four-month program, the startups will receive hands-on mentoring and collaboration opportunities as well as access to Mastercard’s global network of banks, merchants and digital players.

The following six companies will join the Start Path Acceptance program:

Cardstream [UK]: Accelerates fintech enablement through innovation and collaboration with partners, providing Payment Gateway and PayFac-as-a-Service platforms.

Gr4vy [U.S.]: Orchestrates cloud-based payments that empower merchants to customize and optimize their payment strategy.

Hooxpay [U.S.]: Offers Issuers an innovative card optimization platform, enabling them to boost customer engagement with personalized, real-time offers seamlessly integrated at the point of purchase.

Nearpay [Saudi Arabia]: Helps acquirers, payments service providers and fintechs to quickly and easily integrate and launch Tap on Phone on Android and iPhone devices.

Omniretail [Nigeria]: Offers a fully integrated digital infrastructure to support traditional retailers, ensuring they have consistent access to essential goods and financial resources.

Tazapay [Singapore]: Enhances the seamless cross-border commerce experience, providing a platform for businesses to collect, hold and pay on one platform.

As we push the boundaries of acceptance, collaboration is key to providing safe, seamless and frictionless solutions that empower the entire ecosystem to thrive,” said Jennifer Marriner, executive vice president, Acceptance Solutions at Mastercard. “The emerging, impactful fintechs joining this new Start Path program represent the continued need to extend and fortify acceptance today and for the future, and we’re excited to play a part in their journey.

Mastercard has supported more than 400 startups from 54 countries through Start Path since the program was founded in 2014 and these companies have gone on to raise more than $15 billion in post-program capital. KaiOS, a leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, was part of the Start Path program and continues to work closely with Mastercard to embed a range of payment solutions that foster digital inclusion in emerging markets. Today, many Start Path companies are entering public markets, reaching unicorn status and exploring extended commercial engagements with Mastercard and its customers.

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Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”

So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

Many more interesting quotes in the video below:


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?