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MasterCard backs mobile startups tackling security, conversational commerce, money management

Six out of seven companies selected for MasterCard’s 2016 startup support program are in the mobile space, with the key areas of focus including cyber security, conversational commerce and personal money management.

MasterCard’s Start Path Global program kicked off in 2014 to help next-generation commerce and fintech solutions scale their operations and enter new markets and industries. All of the companies chosen for this year’s program are focused on building better consumer experiences by leveraging mobile, big data and analytics.

“Mobile is transforming the way consumers interact, conduct commerce and now transact,” said Stephane Wyper, global lead for MasterCard Start Path. “It is a big change not only in payments but also in overall retail and commerce and is also a big opportunity for startups.

“In the next five years, we anticipate that we will see more change in payments as a result of mobile than what took place in the previous fifty,” he said. “A large number of startups that we see as part of our Start Path program are bringing to life simpler, more convenient and safer mobile experiences to consumers.”

Next-gen mobile solutions
The summer 2016 Start Path Global class includes Cyberfend, which provides a security solution that protects Web and mobile applications from sophisticated attacks and fraudulent activity.

Itembase helps consumers create an itemized, running list of their purchase history from 100,000s of retailers and brands and trigger actions in any third-party consumer apps, such as selling on eBay, track and claim warranty, add products to insurance, get a credit, store invoice and collect cash back.

Mozio is an airport transfer search and booking engine that enables users to find the fastest means of getting to and from the airport. Its airport transportation search engine aggregates ground transportation data and allows travelers to plan their trips to and from an airport by taking into account bus, train, ferry and subway schedules.

PayKey enables payments within any social network. With PayKey, customers can pay with trusted banks within their favorite applications.

RecargaPay allows consumers in Latin America to top up their prepaid mobile phones and pay for their utility bills as well as those of their friends and family. It is now expanding into financial services for the unbanked.

Revolut has developed a global money app connected to a multi-currency MasterCard that allows users to seamlessly exchange, send and spend money in-store or online. Users do not pay foreign fees as if they had a local bank account anywhere in the world.

Everledger uses blockchain technology to track and protect diamonds and other luxury goods on their lifetime journey.

Making commerce simple
Each of the startups will participate in a six-month, virtual program that will range from operational and commercial support to investment. They will also join MasterCard for an immersion week in London and attend the Start Path Global Partner summit in New York in November where they will engage in in-person advisory sessions and be introduced to MasterCard partners such as Rakuten, TSYS and Royal Bank of Canada.

Some of the program’s previous participants are benefiting from the experience.

ClubApp, an Irish startup that provides sports clubs with a platform to share live updates from matches while generating match statistics, has integrated Qkr! with MasterPass technology to enable its members to pay clubs’ fees and buy club merchandise via the app.

“Making commerce simple, convenient and secure is a big focus for MasterCard and majority of the startups in the current class are utilizing mobile apps to do so,” Mr. Wyper said. “All of the startups picked for the class have tremendous potential and the Start Path team will work with them to actualize this potential.”