Card network behemoth Mastercard is locking arms with two fintech partners on new services in the race to roll digital features that will keep tech rival upstarts at bay.
The Purchase, New York-based Mastercard said today in a press release that it’s partnering with the software company Emburse, to provide bank issuers of its cards the chance to offer their corporate card users a better way to manage employee expense reports. They plan to launch the program with a first customer later this year.
The cards will let holders use a mobile app to capture, verify and reconcile their expenses and automatically process detailed reports for reimbursement, without manually entering transaction information.
The new service helps Mastercard compete for corporate clients as a slew of new technology companies seek to undercut its, and bank issuers', hold on card clients. Fintech companies like Stripe, Brex and Ramp Business are creating new services that allow companies to bypass traditional payments processing systems.
Companies in the payments space are more frequently teaming with fintech peers to advance as digital innovations accelerate, Jodie Kelley, CEO of the payments industry trade group Electronic Transactions Association, said in a recent interview.
By souping up the cards, Mastercard and its bank issuers are in a better position to attract corporate clients and increase the expenses they process.
“In today’s digital economy, companies are looking for innovative technology solutions to reduce complexity and improve operations," Mastercard’s executive vice president of new payment flows, Ron Shultz, said in the statement. "That’s why Mastercard is modernizing the business payments ecosystem to deliver greater simplicity, automation and efficiencies.”
In another instance of tapping tech partners, Mastercard said yesterday that it’s partnering with tech company, InComm Payments, to offer a new debit card to Walgreens customers that includes a mobile banking app. The new card will use Atlanta-based InComm Payments’s digital banking-as-a-service system (BaaS), through Metabank, to offer Walgreens customers a bank account and related services. The card, which is connected to the Walgreens loyalty program, will be available in the second half of the year, the companies said in a press release.
If consumers make use of such banking apps and services linked to a retailer like Walgreens, there are more opportunities for the retailer to advertise to customers and otherwise strengthen consumer ties. Plus, InComm Payments and Metabank can market financial services as well.
“This new product offering will establish Walgreens as a destination for financial services, building on Walgreens’ legacy as a one-stop shop for pharmacy and convenience,” InComm Payments President Stefan Happ said in the release.