Mastercard, Nationwide Partner To Serve Britain’s Small Businesses 

A banking service targeting Britain’s 5.6 million small businesses is being launched by a new Mastercard and Nationwide partnership. 

Nationwide is gearing up for the introduction of its business accounts, while Mastercard is planning to roll out debit cards to customers early next year, the companies announced in a joint press release. 

Nationwide’s new business proposition has recently benefited from £50m ($62.4 million) in the latest round of funding from the Board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund. The fund is designed to boost competition in business lending. 

“Nationwide is part of the fabric of the British High Street and we are thrilled to be working with them as they embark on this journey to build a new business offering,” said Mark Barnett, divisional president of Mastercard U.K., Ireland, Nordic and Baltics. “Over the past few years we’ve become the payment partner of choice for challenger banks and FinTechs looking to offer new retail or commercial banking solutions.” 

Innovation is growing in the small business and payments area, and “the next 12 months will be key,” Barnett said.  

“We are aiming to disrupt the business current account market, and these partnerships will help us do just that,” said Simon Hamilton, managing director of Nationwide for Business. 

Banking disruption is moving through the U.K. Atom, a banking startup in the U.K. that caters to millennials, has raised £50M ($62.4 million) in a funding round earlier in July. It’s now valued at £530 million ($660 million). Other banks that are also seen as disruptors are Monese, Monzo, N26, Starling and Tandem.

U.K. digital bank Monzo is set to raise new funds that could double its valuation to £2 billion ($2.4 billion dollars), making it the second-largest FinTech startup in Britain.