TransferWise and Mastercard extend their partnership worldwide

Card giants are increasingly working with non-traditional payments firms, leaving their core customer base of bank issuers behind.

London based non-bank online payments company TransferWise has announced that it will extend its partnership with Mastercard worldwide to enable the issuance of cards in any market where Mastercard is accepted and TransferWise is licenced. TransferWise facilitates cheap cross-border payments by matching users that want to transfer across one currency pair with those that want to exchange in the opposite direction, disrupting traditional bank payment channels.

Back in 2018, both companies had formed a partnership and issued their first debit card in Europe. Since then, TransferWise has issued more than 1 million Mastercards globally. Currently, the companies have a partnership in the European Economic Area, US, Singapore and Australia and New Zealand with Japan being added later this year.

The latest initiative with Mastercard covers both business and consumer accounts, a TransferWise spokesperson said. Responding to questions from CPI, the privately-held company refused to disclose its mix of business versus consumer payments.

Apart from card issuance, using Mastercard Send, TransferWise has launched facilities for TransferWise account holders wherein they would be able to send money in real-time to Mastercard cards in European countries which include Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Croatia and Russia.

In other news, back in December 2019, Visa had announced that TransferWise would be starting to offer its SME customers a facility to move money to debit cards in real-time. This service was initially started in Spain and had plans to move into Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. TransferWise had plans to scale its offerings using Visa Direct throughput in Europe and globally in 2020.