A new partnership between card issuer Enfuce and UK neobank startup Science Card aims to encourage consumers to make “tangible, measurable and quantifiable” contributions to scientific research projects in the UK.
Customers of Science Card, which is powered by Enfuce’s card-as-a-service platform, will be able to make a direct contribution to research projects at British universities through their normal payments activity, or round up purchases.
Speaking to Open Banking Expo at the Pay360 Conference in London yesterday (21 March), Daniel Baeriswyl, founder and chief executive officer of Science Card, said that individuals will be able to direct funding to projects spanning climate change, healthcare and quantum research “within minutes”.
He told Open Banking Expo that, typically, when people make charitable contributions there is a “lack of transparency” around where their money goes, whereas Science Card is “tangible, measurable and quantifiable”.
Science Card will initially launch in the UK and is targeting 30,000 customers within the first year. Beyond that, there are plans to roll it out more widely across the EU and to the US.
Enfuce will issue and process the Mastercard-branded card, which will be made available through Science Card’s app with Enfuce’s API, to enable customers to top-up their account with money and use it as their primary spending account.
Also speaking to Open Banking Expo at the conference, Denise Johansson, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Enfuce, said there is a need to fund science, and that the partnership will “enable change and innovation within payments”.
She added that younger generations in particular “challenge everything” and “want to see tangible actions” when they allocate their money.
Within the Science Card app, users can view and choose the university and the scientific project they wish to send “micro-grants” to, as well as view Science Card’s total funding for all projects.
Science Card forecasts that, by 2028, its customer numbers will total more than two million and be generating funding worth upwards of £100 million a year.
Monika Liikamaa, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Enfuce, said: “Science Card’s unique proposition has the potential to make profound transformational changes in society. Enfuce’s core commitments to sustainability and creating positive change in society are well aligned with Science Card’s vision to make the world a better place.
“To launch and run a brand new B2C card use case like this requires flexible and customisable issuing and processing functionality, vast expertise of meeting compliance and regulatory challenges, and a stable platform that’s designed for future-proof growth.”
Baeriswyl, who has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UCL, said his motivation for launching Science Card is what he saw as research and development being “isolated” from financial services and the desire to “make a huge impact”.
He added that, in Enfuce, he had found “a partner with scale”.
Johansson told Open Banking Expo that Enfuce is “able to support innovations that can challenge the status quo”.
Taking into account the macroeconomic environment, she said that Enfuce has been “growing with control, rather than speed” over the past 13 months and that they will remain focused on the UK and Europe “for now”.