Rising Demand For Ease Of Borderless Transactions Sees TransferWise And Mastercard’s Partnership Prepare For Global Expansion

2020 has proven to be a strong year for Mastercard and TransferWise, with each company showing growth in troubled times. Separately, they’ve both been making their own headlines with acquisitions and capital raising, and their partnership is proving to be a robust success. Last week, Mastercard and TransferWise indicated that they will grow their partnership to expand globally with the issuance of cards wherever Mastercard is accepted and TransferWise is licensed. This accelerated plan comes after only two years of working together since TransferWise first issued its debit card to Europe in 2018.

Founded in 2011, fintech start-up Transferwises has a vision of allowing its multi-currency, borderless accounts replace costly, old-school banking for a target customer base of expats, freelancers, businesses, and travelers. Since its inception, co-founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann of Estonia have steered the company towards becoming a formidable competitor of WesternUnion and MoneyGram by offering lower fees and a slick online platform to make moving money across borders easy. Today, over eight million people use Transferwise, processing over £4 billion in cross-border payments every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year.

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Considered the largest fintech in Europe, TransferWise was valued at $5 billion following a secondary share sale in July, indicating a growth in investment demand for online payments as influenced by the pandemic.

As a leader in digital payments with almost 2.6 billion credit and debit cards in circulation worldwide, Mastercard is an ideal partner for top fintech brands. This year Mastercard has continued to forge partnerships and collaborations throughout the pandemic as a testament to their strategy of working with fintech partners from their inception. Last year, the digital payment leader launched Mastercard Accelerate, an initiative created specifically to support and simplify its working relationship with fintechs, making its considerable resources accessible on demand. Since the launch, Mastercard Accelerates has focused on fostering growth and transformation of fintechs from market entry to global expansion.

Mastercard and TransferWise are currently partnered across the EEA, U.S., Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. Japan is due to be included later this year. The two companies are collaborating on enabling Apple and Google Pay, Fitbit and Garmin Pay across the EEA for all TransferWise cards. In addition to issuing more cards, TransferWise will leverage Mastercard Send™ to enable account holders to send money in real time to Mastercard cards in European countries.

Speaking of the growth and its vision for the future, Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of TransferWise, said “we’re making it faster, cheaper and easier to move money around the world.” He adds that “as we think about the next phase in our international expansion, we want to ensure this process stays just as convenient whether you need a debit card in the UK or Japan. Building upon our partnership with Mastercard is important in maintaining that high level of convenience around the world.”