FinTech Connects… with Edoardo Volta, Vice President and Head of Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland

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Edoardo Volta is the Vice President and Head of Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland. Edoardo’s role involves driving growth with Mastercard’s fintech accounts, pushing forward the next generation of payments in the UK & Ireland.

A household name in the payment sphere, Mastercard have been at the top of the payments food chain for generations, and are still leading innovation within the sector. A partner of FinTech Connect 2019, Mastercard are taking part in the PayTech Connect and Blockchain Connect tracks of the event.

This week, I caught up with Edoardo as we talked consumer trends, Mastercard Accelerate and fintech-bank collaboration.


What are the most exciting aspects of the fintech industry at the moment?

There is an unprecedented level of innovation coming from fintechs rights now, whether that’s in the payments space, redefining how we manage our money or empowering small businesses.

Fintechs are pushing large businesses like Mastercard to question the status quo and rethink how we do business to deliver better value to the consumer which has to be a good thing!


Will 2020 see more collaboration or competition by fintechs and banks?

I believe 2020 will be the year of collaboration. There will be more partnerships based on taking the best aspects of the two. Where incumbent banks can offer market share and scale to fintechs, with an established base of loyal customers, the fintechs can offer innovation, agility and improved CX and user journeys.

Boundaries are blurring as many new incumbents are not looking to compete with banks across a full suite of products and solutions, but focus on one or two elements of banks’ portfolios. This creates intense competition often in the areas of profitability for banks. Instead of competing, increasingly we will see complimentary offerings that sit side by side.


The European Banking Study reported that digital banking usage is becoming a mainstay in people’s lives, but what opportunities does this present to new entrants into the market?

As digital banking becomes the norm, people are increasingly getting used to a simple, easy to use customer experience, and there is no going back once they have experienced that. So for the fintechs who are able to create new experiences quickly, the opportunity is to make their offering simpler, smarter, more efficient, more secure, and ultimately make paying for things or money management hassle free.

Specifically in the UK, the rise of neo-banks is revolutionising the banking system. While incumbent banks are struggling with legacy issues (IT, remediation programmes, appropriately skilled workforce, physical real estate) new digital-only banks can outperform traditional banks on growth, cost to income and return on equity.

We are seeing new entrants leveraging the simplicity of digital banking to deliver innovation into different segments like SMEs, the underserved, etc; which is great as these segments are in tremendous need of disruption.


What is Mastercard Accelerate and how does it help fintechs?

Mastercard Accelerate gives fintechs access to everything they need to grow quickly. Offering a simple, single entry-point Mastercard Accelerate gives start-ups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry to global expansion.

Accelerate will enable fintechs to be onboarded to Mastercard in a matter of weeks and provide a guided experience through everything the company can offer. Programme participants are connected to relevant parts of the business, to integrate Mastercard’s proprietary technology, leverage its insights and cybersecurity services, engage new customers, and reach new markets and segments. In addition, Mastercard’s commitment

to financial inclusion drives focused product development, helping co-create solutions that enable a more inclusive economy.


Why are you excited to be involved in FinTech Connect?

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded people who are ultimately the future of the industry. It’s an exciting time for financial services and we hope to be at the centre of it going forward.


Join us at the UK’s Largest fintech conference and exhibition