Mastercard builds upon its strategic partnership with CleverCards to expand digital card issuance across Europe

The ongoing relationship will support CleverCards efforts by enabling more European businesses and consumers to accept digital payments, as well as welcoming the company into Mastercard’s Fintech Express programme.     

 Brussels, Belgium – 11th February 2021 – Mastercard and CleverCards have signed a strategic partnership to expand the usage of digital cards across Europe. The deal comes as CleverCards also joins Mastercard’s Fintech Express programme, propelling CleverCards to simplify the payments value chain across Europe to enable anyone, anywhere, anytime to be paid instantly by businesses.

Building on a successful partnership forged in 2019, the announcement underlines the organisations’ commitment to digitalising payments and delivering significant efficiencies and benefits to businesses. Leveraging Mastercard’s core digital platform – Digital Enablement Service (MDES) – and integrating Mastercard processing and services capabilities into their platform, CleverCards’ innovative technology simplifies the payments value chain, enabling businesses to bypass several intermediary card issuing processes and instead easily send a digital prepaid Mastercard card directly to an email address or mobile phone number. The recipients of the digital card can instantly spend their funds online or in-store using digital wallets, such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, to make secure contactless payments.

Powered by Mastercard, CleverCards is well-positioned to support clients with digital first solutions, enabling businesses and consumers to be paid anywhere, anytime, instantly.  Joining the Mastercard Fintech Express programme will also give CleverCards the opportunity to engage with Mastercard’s extensive network, thus helping CleverCards scale its business at speed.    

Jason Lane, Executive Vice President, Market Development Europe, Mastercard, comments, “The 2020 landscape saw the shift to digital payments accelerated for both online and in-store via contactless. As the European partner of choice for leading fintechs, we are proud to help them play a significant role in driving this shift towards digital economies. To that end, we are delighted to take our alliance with CleverCards to the next stage.”

CleverCards founder & CEO Kealan Lennon explains “We are delighted to build our partnership with Mastercard and join their Fintech Express programme. Beyond the support and integration of Mastercard technologies into our platform, this partnership is a major boost for CleverCards, providing us with unprecedented, unique access to Mastercard business development teams in key markets and to key commercial clients, which along with their brand endorsement and marketing support will significantly accelerate CleverCards’ opportunity to scale its growth across Europe and the US.”

The applications of the technology are manifold, with immediate opportunities apparent in the gig economy, compensation pay-outs and employee expenses & benefits. This provides a competitive advantage by facilitating ‘work today - get paid today’ for gig economy workers. With no bank accounts needed, they can simply manage their earnings using their app and earnings are instantly topped-up to a digital Mastercard card on their phone.

Similarly, this offering could also help insurance companies and airlines with a new level of flexibility and speed when it comes to paying out claims to consumers. CleverCards’ offering has made it effortless for businesses to order and send company-branded digital gift cards, incentives and rewards, via email, SMS or other messaging services, to employees or customers anywhere, who can use them everywhere that accepts Mastercard.

Mastercard Fintech Express falls under the umbrella of Mastercard Accelerate – Mastercard’s overarching fintech platform that gives start-ups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry to global expansion. Mastercard Accelerate is comprised of four main programmes: Fintech ExpressStart PathEngage and Developers.


Media Contacts

Rose Beaumont, Mastercard

About CleverCards

Public and private sector organisations of all sizes use the CleverCards payments platform, making it possible for anyone, anywhere, anytime to be paid instantly, regardless of where they are and without the need for a bank account. Empowered with effortless configuration, customised branding and personalisation, along with elegant mobile-first cardholder experiences, CleverCards uses technology to remove numerous unnecessary processes and participants from the payments value chain, delivering unrivalled efficiencies whilst automating the management of all relevant financial services regulations, including KYC and KYB onboarding, AML and PCI DSS compliance. Since launching in December 2019, CleverCards has experienced dramatic growth, with over 5,000 businesses already using the platform.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.  

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