From ultrasonic verification systems to borderless money to innovative credit-scoring models, new e-payment ideas are being incubated for the digital-only future.

With the surge in digital economies and e-commerce due to the pandemic, electronic payment systems are becoming a tool to close the digital divide.

10 fintechs from around the world are participating in a startup engagement program, Start Path by Mastercard, to scale the future of commerce.

Through a six-month program, the incumbent firms will co-innovate and uncover opportunities that leverage payment technologies, expertise and member networks to drive the future.

The idea is to invest in solutions that bring more people into the digital economy, instill trust in every transaction and protect the identity of people and processes.

Start Path

Start Path companies will have an opportunity to connect to many partners in Mastercard’s global ecosystem of banks and merchants as well as technology and digital players to scale their businesses and deliver transformative solutions.

With more than 250 startups in the Start Path program since its founding in 2014, these companies have gone on to raise US$2.9 billion in post-program investments and are delivering solutions that are transforming the future of commerce.

The following fintechs have exciting ideas on the back burners:

  • Carry1st is bridging the digital divide by leveraging mobile technology, payment gateways and culturally-relevant content to serve the first generation of African smartphone users.
  • FISPAN is a contextual platform that embeds business banking services within Enterprise Resource Planning and Accounting applications that clients can rely on to run their businesses.
  • Lendio provides a full-service approach to small business financing, from technology infrastructure for financial institutions to access to growth capital.
  • LISNR connects online to offline customer journeys globally using ultrasonic data-over-sound technology that enables proximity verification and contactless transactions for merchants, financial service providers and mobility companies.
  • Mocafi is a financial services platform designed to help the underbanked with digital banking and credit building along with personal wealth coaching.
  • Mo Technologies offers an innovative credit scoring model for financial and non-financial institutions that helps to extend more credit products to more customers in all segments.
  • Panda Remit is building a global financial platform where money is borderless, allowing for safe, convenient and low-cost money transfers.
  • Paycode provides a low-cost biometric online and offline banking and payment system that solves the three key challenges of the unbanked last mile: identity, connectivity and cost.
  • Fanbank/Plink is a commerce automation platform created to help grow small businesses by increasing customer lifetime value, attracting local shoppers and transforming point-of-sale terminals.
  • Subaio offers a white-label subscription management service for banks, allowing users to track and cancel subscriptions directly from their own bank.

Said Ken Moore, Chief Innovation Officer, Mastercard: “We all thrive when fintechs have access to the technology they need to reach scale and democratize finances. We are partnering with the newest fintechs joining Start Path to drive inclusion, innovation and trust with alternative ways to pay and authenticate, powerful solutions for small businesses, new ways to create efficiency for business payments, as well as address the wealth gap.”

Shanghai Metro partnership

Mastercard has also recently partnered with Shanghai Shentong Metro Group to launch a card-on-file service for the Shanghai Metro App to allow overseas travelers to use Mastercard to access the metro system in Shanghai.

This will make the rail operator China’s first urban public transportation system to accept international credit card transactions.

The service is already online, benefiting all cardholders with overseas-issued Mastercard cards. And Mastercard is striving to bring this level of convenience to other scenarios including tourism, shopping and dining.