Mastercard’s Start Path Program Expands to Drive Payment Acceptance Innovations

Mastercard, a leading global payment technology company, has announced the expansion of its Start Path program, aimed at fostering innovations in payment acceptance. The initiative welcomes six startups dedicated to enhancing electronic payment methods and accessibility.

In a statement shared with PYMNTS on Thursday, Mastercard emphasized the pivotal role of electronic payment acceptance in shaping the future of commerce. The company highlighted the transformative impact of digital payments, unlocking new possibilities and raising expectations for efficiency and security.

The inaugural cohort of the Start Path Acceptance program comprises late-stage startups focusing on various initiatives, including the development of cost-effective solutions for small businesses and the facilitation of non-traditional payment acceptance channels. These startups will benefit from mentorship, collaboration opportunities, and access to Mastercard’s extensive network of financial institutions, merchants, and digital platforms.

Among the participants is Cardstream, a UK-based firm specializing in FinTech enablement through innovative Payment Gateway and PayFac-as-a-Service platforms. Additionally, American companies Gr4vy, offering cloud-based payments orchestration, and Hooxpay, providing card optimization solutions, are part of the cohort. Singapore’s Tazapay, a platform focused on cross-border collection and payments, also joins the program.

Oz Azaria, CEO of Hooxpay, expressed the company’s commitment to disrupting legacy platforms and driving innovation in payment acceptance. Azaria emphasized Hooxpay’s vision centered on innovation, traceability, inclusivity, and trust, reflecting the startup’s dedication to revolutionizing acceptance practices.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Start Path, with the program having supported over 400 firms, collectively raising more than $15 billion. Mastercard’s commitment to advancing digital payments was further underscored during its recent quarterly earnings call. CEO Michael Miebach highlighted the accelerating trend towards digital payments, driven by the company’s contactless technology.

Miebach noted significant milestones, including the expansion of Tap on Phone technology to over 100 markets and a 50% year-over-year increase in tokenized transactions. He emphasized the transformative impact of tokenization, citing lower fraud rates, higher approval rates, and an enhanced consumer experience, which collectively contribute to the growth of transactions within the Mastercard network.

By expanding its Start Path program and leveraging innovative technologies, Mastercard continues to lead the evolution of payment acceptance, driving forward the digital transformation of commerce worldwide.

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