Behind the Idea Editor's Choice Fintech Paytech

Behind the Idea: Phos and Mastercard

Established in 2018, phos aims to democratise card acceptance and payments in general. Its software can transform payment acceptance by enabling merchants to take payments directly on their NFC-enabled Android device. The company recently announced that it has extended its partnership with Mastercard to introduce a new mobile payment solution.

The new partnership will enable 12,000 small businesses across 12 European countries to accept contactless payments using their existing Android mobile devices. Together, the partnerships will allow merchants to digitalise their payment processes and offer more accessible and flexible payment options to customers. It comes off the back of a recent funding drive in March 2020, where phos raised 1.3M EUR to drive the adoption of digital payments and penetration of its technology across the continent.  

Together, the two companies can support a vast network across the Europe region, while also including merchants in existing markets such as the UK, Germany, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as eight new markets: Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. phos will be working with multiple acquirers.

Jason Lane, EVP Market Development, Europe at Mastercard explains more.

How does this partnership with phos fit in with Mastercard’s strategy?

Supporting small businesses is a key priority for Mastercard. This collaboration fits in with that strategy by enabling small businesses to accept electronic payments across various channels: cards, wallets and wearables. It is also worth pointing out that the payment solutions promoted in this partnership are all next-gen. This means they are all contactless-enabled, have best in class security via our tokenization technology and include our sonic sound to confirm that a payment went through successfully – all key parts of our broader strategy.

We’ve seen a surge in contactless transactions this year. Other than the obvious hygiene benefits, how does contactless benefit small businesses?

Indeed, we have seen a phenomenal growth in the use of contactless payments. In Europe, 78% of all Mastercard transactions are now contactless. Hygiene concerns is an important driver for contactless payments, but people also enjoy the convenience and speed that comes with it, without compromising the security of their payment information.

How does Mastercard cater to small business needs?

We offer solutions that save time and money for small business owners, allowing them to focus on what matters most to them.

Many businesses in Europe still operate on cash only.  One of the ways in which we try to help small businesses is to enable them to accept card payments which can improve their cashflow thus benefitting their bottom line. In addition to providing different payment solutions, we are also supporting digital-first capabilities via our different solutions.

Can these needs be addressed by fintechs?

Absolutely. Digital banking through traditional and digital-only banks is the new normal for most Europeans nowadays. This is largely thanks to fintechs which have become the building blocks of our modern-day payment infrastructure.  We work in tandem with fintechs to deliver safe and simple digital solutions for people as well as businesses.

When partnering with fintechs, what does Mastercard bring to the table to become their partner of choice?

Our overarching fintech platform – 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. This tailored approach helps us become their partner of choice as demonstrated by the fact that 26 of the 30 top European fintech issuers launched their products on Mastercard.

Our Fintech approach is centred on providing increased speed, scalable growth, flexibility and access to resources, tools and insights.


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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