Two Singapore fintechs in Mastercard start-up program

Mastercard blockchain

Singapore-headquartered fintech firms Hashstacs (STACS) and Mintable are among seven companies selected worldwide for Mastercard’s inaugural global start-up program.

The Mastercard Start Path program will support fast-growing blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrency companies by offering expertise and technology to help fintechs develop relationships with a network of global financial services companies.

Mintable operates a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where users create, buy and sell digital and physical assets – including digital collectables, avant-garde artwork and even music – backed by the blockchain.

The Mintable platform offers features such as ‘gasless minting’ (that is, making an item available on the blockchain without having to submit to the blockchain) and credit card purchasing, so ordinary consumers can get involved with NFTs without prior knowledge of crypto or coding.

STACS focuses on capital markets and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) fintechs, providing blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry to unlock value and enable efficacious sustainable financing. Its clients and partners include global banks, national stock exchanges, and asset managers.

Under the Mastercard program, STACS plans to expand and accelerate innovation around digital asset technology to make it safer and easier for institutions to adopt blockchain technology.

Sandeep Malhotra, Mastercard’s executive vice president, products & innovation, Asia Pacific, said the company was always looking for ways to give people and businesses more choice in how they pay and get paid.

“Looking to increase the potential of what our network can deliver in the future, we’ve expanded these options to include cryptocurrency, distributed ledger and digital assets, gradually building one of the payments industry’s biggest blockchain patent portfolios,” he said.

“Through this new Start Path Crypto program, we will partner with the world’s most promising start-ups to co-create and build new products that address a host of unique industry needs while providing these young companies with Mastercard’s decades of expertise and global network to help them scale and grow quickly. It’s a two-way street.”

According to Mastercard, around 45 per cent of consumers in the Asia Pacific region say they are likely to consider using cryptocurrency this year – a huge jump over the 12 per cent who used it in 2020.

“What’s more, consumers are increasingly showing interest in being able to spend crypto-assets for everyday purchases, according to recent findings from the Mastercard New Payments Index,” Malhotra said.