Mastercard selects six Open Banking startups for Start Path program

Ellie Duncan
25 Jan 2024

Mastercard has selected 15 startups from around the world to take part in its ‘Start Path’ engagement programs, focused on small business and Open Banking, respectively.

Through the Start Path Small Business and Open Banking programs, the startups will have exclusive access to “collaboration opportunities” with Mastercard, designed to help them refine their technologies and scale their solutions.

Mastercard has chosen six companies for its Open Banking program, all of which will receive exposure to its Open Banking technology, data connectivity and analytics offerings.

One of the startups chosen to participate in the Start Path Open Banking program is UK-based Fena, which helps small businesses manage, sell, track, ship and get paid for orders across multiple channels.

Gosia Furmanik, founder of Fena, said: “Technology in finance tackles the root problem: unequal access to financial resources – that’s where my passion for fintech comes from.

“Open Finance offers a chance for individuals and small businesses to gain control over their finances, thereby equalising opportunities across the board.”

US-based Portabl, which operates a “reusable identity layer” for Open Banking and payments through a single sign-in, is also taking part in Mastercard’s Start Path Open Banking program.

“What drove the creation of Portabl was that financial access and mobility are constrained by outdated approaches to identity,” said Nate Soffio, co-founder and chief executive officer of Payabl.

“ID and Open Banking payments are on a collision course, and we can’t wait to see how that simplifies and protects modern money movement.”

Through Start Path, companies gain access to Mastercard’s global ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players, with each track offering curated programming and a dedicated sponsor, who helps the selected companies identify innovation opportunities and provide “curated introductions to partner with prospects”.

Also chosen for the Open Banking program are New Zealand’s Akahu, which offers secure account connectivity infrastructure, and WeMoney in Australia – a financial wellness platform helping Millennials and Gen Z track their incomings and outgoings in one place, with a view to achieving their savings goals.

SensePass in the US, which offers a “frictionless” checkout process to enable merchants to accept any payment method, both online and in-store, will also participate in the Open Banking program, as will Atomic, a US startup that “puts consumer payroll and payment data to work”.

For the Start Path Small Business program, Mastercard has selected nine startups.

More than 380 companies from 54 countries have participated in Start Path, to date.

Last year, Mastercard launched an ‘Open Banking for Account Opening’ solution that integrates account owner verification with identity insights into a single API, and also prefills account and routing data.