Branch, the digital bank startup, is branching out.
The Minneapolis-based company has partnered with Mastercard to offer consumers access to their funds through their Branch Mastercard debit cards by adding it to mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, from the Branch mobile app.
“Consumers deserve fast and flexible mobile banking services that adapt to their needs,” said Branch CEO Atif Siddiqi in a statement. “As contactless payments become a critical part of everyday transactions, these new capabilities allow users to seamlessly transition between their physical and digital wallets.”
Users who have a Branch Card can update their app settings to add their debit cards onto their mobile wallets. Along with Branch’s identity-verification process, mobile wallets offer additional safety features, Branch said.
In addition to its partnership with Mastercard, Evolve Bank & Trust, the Memphis-based lender, will provide a free checking account and debit card.
Most shoppers say they prefer contactless payments as the coronavirus has changed the way merchants get paid, with eight in 10 saying they’re now using contactless cards, citing safety and cleanliness as key drivers, according to a Mastercard survey.
The study was conducted between April 10 and 12 of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries as stay-at-home orders and social distancing became common. During February and March, 79 percent of respondents said they used contactless payments, citing safety and cleanliness as key drivers.
Most respondents, 82 percent, view contactless as the cleaner way to pay. Such contactless payments are up to 10 times faster than other in-person payment methods, enabling customers to get in and out of stores faster, the study found.
This trend could be here to stay. Nearly three quarters of respondents, 74 percent, said they will continue to use contactless post-pandemic.
“Contactless payments offer safety, security, and efficiency to consumers at the point of sale,” said Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships in a statement. “The capability of offering an instant Branch Mastercard debit card is part of our commitment to making the digital economy work for everyone, everywhere.”
As reported by PYMNTS, Mastercard is looking to meet the “unfilled needs” of small businesses, which include removing the “pain points” they have around cash flow.