Mastercard and TransferWise boost their partnership

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and FXC Intelligence and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors.… Read more
  • Customers in Japan will benefit from the new arrangement when the Mastercard-powered debit card is launched there later this year.
  • Speed will also improve for transactions to a wide range of European countries such as Spain – meaning that close to instant transfers will be on offer.
  • “We want to ensure this process stays just as convenient, whether you need a debit card in the U.K. or Japan,” said the firm’s CEO.

Two of the biggest names in the finance field have revealed a newly boosted global link.

Cross-border payments firm TransferWise will work with Mastercard, a financial services institution and payments provider, to offer a debit card in several more major economies.

The card, which is powered by Mastercard but branded and operated by TransferWise, can already be used in Europe – this has been the case since 2018.

It is also currently in operation in many other major markets such as the Antipodean countries of New Zealand and Australia.

Singapore and the US are also on the list.

However, the new arrangement will see it offered in Japan at some point further into 2020.

There will also be a speed-related change for many customers.

TransferWise customers who are sending cash to Mastercard users in many different nations across Europe will find that their transfer times are reduced to close to instantaneous.

The nations on this list that are set to benefit include Spain and the Czech Republic.

Others include Ukraine, Poland and Croatia.

According to Kristo Käärmann, who is the co-founder of TransferWise and also its chief executive officer, the decision to go for the new level of partnership was grounded in terms of customer convenience.

“To date, over one million debit cards have been issued,” he said.

“As we think about the next phase in our international expansion, we want to ensure this process stays just as convenient, whether you need a debit card in the U.K. or Japan,” he added.

He emphasised that the relationship with Mastercard was considered a good way to do this.

“Building upon our partnership with Mastercard is important in maintaining that,” he said.

As one of the online money transfer sector’s leading ‘unicorns’, TransferWise seems to just go from strength to strength.

According to the latest figures, the company has eight million customers across the globe.

Market watchers will know that this doesn’t necessarily translate into huge financial success given that many consumer online money transfer transactions can be low value.

However, in TransferWise’s case, it seems, the high customer numbers also equal big cash numbers.

It sees just over US$5bn run through its books every single month in the form of payments – which means that it’s far from surprising to learn that companies like Mastercard are jumping at the chance to enjoy expanded partnerships like this one.

If you’re interested in discovering more about the international money transfers markets, just go over to our news pages and learn more in some of our recent articles covering other firms.


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