Challenger bank FairFX has secured a license to issue Mastercard-branded cards, according to a press release by the company this week.
The firm said Thursday (Dec. 21) it was granted full membership status by Mastercard and can now begin to issue Mastercard-branded cards across Europe. FairFX, which provides international corporate payment services and other financial services to businesses, announced plans to launch a small business current account last month.
The membership is part of FairFX’s efforts to work directly with banking and payment networks, instead of using third parties to access them.
“Gaining Mastercard membership is a major step in our stated aim of reducing FairFX’s reliance on third parties and providing choice for the business,” said FairFX CEO Ian Strafford-Taylor in a statement. “We can now place our various products and services through the supply chain that fits best from the perspective of cost, flexibility and reliability. Going forward, this will simplify our product iteration and reduce our cost base, which will ultimately benefit our customers.”
FairFX’s small business current account was announced in November to provide global payment services to its customers. The current account comes with a corporate card linked to FairFX exchange rates for cross-border payments and follows the acquisition of CardOne announced in August for $19.5 million.
Last year, FairFX raised $7.5 million in funding, which the company said would go toward expansion in the commercial card market and building market share. Activist investor Crystal Amber Fund provided the financing.
In an interview with PYMNTS last year, Strafford-Taylor said prepaid cards may be particularly useful to support businesses’ expense management needs.
“The prepaid system flips the claimback process on its head and allows total control of spend and budgets upfront,” he stated.