Wow, the people at Mastercard just never seem to keep still. For the last fifty years they have been
working on making payments processing as easy as possible and they are far from stopping now.
But what is the secret of their success? See, Mastercard realises that the key to innovation is an open
ecosystem of companies that share knowledge and experience. It is beneficial to everyone involved.
Startups are a great addition to that ecosystem because they are smaller and more flexible than big
corporations, and can react to market changes much more quickly. Therefore they are a perfect
complement to the corporations, which on the other hand has the advantage of global client database.
Poland has been especially important in Mastercard’s quest for innovation. Thanks to testing and
developing their solutions (such as the hugely popular contactless payments) on the Polish market,
the country has become a payments technology pioneer.

“According to a research carried out by Mastercard, the Poles are very open to the idea of
digitalisation, and would like to use more digital services in their daily life, such as electronic
payments. They are also more enthusiastic about digitalisation than the citizens of Western Europe
and express willingness to use services on mobile devices and those that employ biometrics
technologies. Taking all the factors into consideration, the e-payments industry has a chance of
becoming one of the first sectors where Polish fintechs will flourish, both inside and outside the
country, making Poland an international innovation hub,” says Bartosz Ciołkowski, General Director of
Mastercard Poland.

But that is not all Mastercard does!

Mastercard brings together large organisations and startups. It is one of the founders and strategic
partners of The Heart Warsaw, the European center for corporate-startup collaboration. The first
programme it organised was for the fintech sector. Since its opening in January 2017, over 400
startups and 72 corporations have joined the program and ten pilot solutions commissioned by big
institutions have been developed. To show just how important the collaboration is, The Heart Warsaw
organised Open Innovation Awards, a competition for corporates open to collaboration with the
startup ecosystem. In January 2018 the jury will announce the winners.

On a global level, Mastercard supports innovative companies at the early stage of development
through its Start Path Global programme. The participants receive mentoring from international
experts, have an access to the clients and partners database, and can develop their own solutions
based on the existing technologies. Applications are open every three months, so don’t miss your
chance and apply now!

Your startup can also work on a particular project directly with Mastercard. For example, thanks to
collaboration with Kasisto, Mastercard now offers their clients chatbot services. Or, more locally,
Polish uPaid helped implement Masterpass Digital Wallet.

Mastercard is also looking at investing in companies which portfolio may bring additional value to
Mastercard’s clients. Such was the case with Trevica, a payment processor, back in 2012, which was
acquired by Mastercard. Today, former Trevica is now a part of Mastercard structure and is
developing business in many countries outside Poland.

And last but not least, more exciting news! Poland will be the first country in the world to pilot test the
latest Mastercard innovation, softPOS. The technology allows the seller to use a smartphone to
accept contactless payment. You can see a live demo at Impact fintech’17 in Katowice, on December
6-7. Check out the agenda here.