Mastercard wants to build a better future for European fintechs and lower the barriers to market entry for early-stage fintech startups. With more than a decade’s experience in nurturing partnerships and supporting innovation across industries, Aiia now shares its story of how it became a European leader in open banking.
When you hear about the success stories of fintechs growing into financial giants, it’s not common to hear about the times of struggle. But that does not mean there haven’t been any. Just ask the team behind the Mastercard company Aiia.
Today, Aiia is a pioneering open banking operator owned by Mastercard. But it started as a small Danish fintech with a B2C offering and the mission to empower people to bring their financial data into play safely and transparently. And that was even before open banking.
“We know what being an early-stage fintech company means. We know the hurdles and the frustration of dealing with massive regulation. But we are here to turn complexity into simplicity for fintechs across the European market. We help facilitate innovation and empower them to focus on their journey to success,” Head of Fintech Sales, Tanya Slavova, says and elaborates on their commitment to support the ecosystem:
“We know first-hand what it means to build and scale a fintech. We have seen both sides of the coin, and we still have the mindset and heart of a startup, so we also know just how important it is for early-stage fintechs to have easy access to market expansion.”
“With the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of fintechs combined with the stability and distribution at large corporations, we can strengthen the entire ecosystem, increasing the size of the industry we all share”Tanya Slavova, Head of Fintech, Sales, Aiia.
Getting their hands dirty
Aiia’s product makes it easy for fintechs to enter the market for accepting payments, taking the burden for them by offering a licensed product that allows them to connect to all the data centres and banks through one single API.
Mastercard acquired Aiia in November last year to allow a wide range of businesses to develop and launch innovative open banking solutions that make life easier. Backed by a market-leading technology platform with a global infrastructure, a high level of security and the capacity for data connectivity.
“We are getting our hands dirty to offer integrations to a wide range of banks without our customers having to deal with licenses, certificates, and other complexities. With the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of fintechs combined with the stability and distribution at large corporations, we can strengthen the entire ecosystem, increasing the size of the industry we all share,” says Tanya Slavova.
To contribute fully, play a valuable role in the ecosystem, and become a key player, Mastercard is running a series of programs to help startups achieve their ambitions.
“We have nurtured partnerships with banks early on and know the importance of building relations. We want to pass that on to the fintechs of tomorrow and help them innovate for the benefit of consumers. That’s why we are passionate about partnerships and promoting programs that support this,” says Tanya Slavova.
Mastercard launched the Start Path global program to engage open banking startups on their path to scale, uncover unique opportunities to co-innovate and power experiences that enable consumer choice. And for more established fintechs, Mastercard helps scale-ups through strategic partnerships in the Mastercard Lighthouse programme.
- Based in Copenhagen, the company’s mission has always been to empower people to bring their financial data into play safely and transparently. Aiia’s platform allows businesses and financial institutions to integrate financial data and offer account-to-account payments directly in their services to the estimated reach of 337 million European citizens.
Today, Aiia has more than 3,000 connected banks across Europe; it processes over 10 million bank logins and more than a million account-to-account payments monthly for large banks and e-commerce payment gateways.