Mastercard Send Debuts In The UK With Real-Time Payments To Bank Accounts

5. June 2018.

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In the first service offered by Mastercard after integrating Vocalink last year, and with an eye on real-time payments, Mastercard Send is launching in the United Kingdom.

Mastercard said in a release on Wednesday (June 6) that the payments service will make it possible for various stakeholders in the financial realm — ranging from financial institutions, digital customers, FinTech companies and various enterprises — to send real-time payments to U.K.-based bank accounts and receive payments by the same means.

Mastercard said that Mastercard Send will connect to the Faster Payments network, which, in turn, will enable payments across use cases such as business-to-consumer and peer-to-peer disbursements. The new service, Mastercard said in its release, “embodies the Mastercard vision of a world not only beyond cash, but beyond cards as well.”

Mastercard said it has enlisted Starling Bank, a challenger bank, as the strategic partner for settlement services in the U.K. That bank will manage funds to be disbursed before those funds are given over — “pushed,” in fact — to individual accounts through Faster Payments. In the statement, Julian Sawyer, who serves as chief operating officer of Starling Bank, said the partnership will “open up new commercial and business opportunities for Mastercard clients.”

The firms said that only a very small number of accounts in the U.K. (less than 0.1 percent), such as some savings accounts, do not accept faster payments, as estimated by Faster Payments itself.

The first U.K.-based customer for the service will be Income Group, which is a payroll-focused payment provider concentrated on paying employees in real time.

“Mastercard Send will make payments much easier for users,” said Mark Barnett, divisional president of Mastercard in the U.K., who also noted that existing direct-to-bank account solutions “are often batch-based and hence less timely, giving businesses a real headache when it comes to disbursement of funds.”

Mastercard Send launched three years ago and, as noted in this space at the end of last month, initially started with a P2P focus and now has gone on to embrace other use cases, including B2B.

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