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MasterCard takes fintech incubator global

Fintech start-ups outside Europe get a boost with partnership programme.

By Alexander Sword

MasterCard has launched Start Path Global, a globally available partnership programme for retail and fintech start-ups.

The six-month programme will provide start-ups in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America with operational support in bringing their products to market, including advice from over 60 MasterCard experts.

Chosen start-ups will have access to Start Path Partners, a network of over 20 leading banking, retail, and technology companies. This includes Rakuten, Samsung Card, TSYS, Target, Bank of Montreal, and Santander Innoventures.

Start Path Global represents a global expansion for Start Path, previously available in Europe, exactly a year after the announcement of the inaugural programme.

Previously participants were required to spend 4 months based onsite in Dublin, whereas now they will not have to relocate.

"Start Path thoughtfully connects the right partners with the right startups to build the future of commerce together," said Stephane Wyper, Global Lead of MasterCard Start Path. "And now with our global expansion we will be able to target a broader range of startups and help them achieve success."

The news comes as existing payments companies such as MasterCard and Visa Europe seek innovative ways to help customers pay.

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One trend has been the extension of contactless and mobile payments, which have hugely expanded. In the UK, spending through contactless cards in the first half of 2015 totalled £2.5 billion. This has already surpassed the total spend in 2014, at £2.32 billion.

Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder at Greenlight, the digital marketing company, commented: "Shoppers today are motivated by convenience. Consumers are demanding faster, more efficient ways to pay on and offline.

"As retailers consider how to deliver customer service that meets the demands of an on-demand generation, it will be important to develop the infrastructure needed to ensure that the consumer path to purchase is the very best it can be, especially online.

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