UniCredit, Mastercard Expand Payments Partnership

UniCredit and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) announced a global expansion of their payment partnership.

The agreement “sets the stage for the start of a strong partnership consistent with the UniCredit Unlocked strategy.”

This is the first time any large commercial bank “has put in place a single card multi-market strategy of this scale in Europe.” It brings together in one agreement UniCredit’s ability “to harness the collective weight of 13 banks as one institution with Mastercard’s expertise in the card payment space.”

The significant broadening of the parties’ relationship “will deliver payment innovation and enhanced digital experiences to customers.”

This enhanced multi-year partnership “provides the necessary resources to achieve a shared ambition to increase the speed of innovation in the payments space and put customers at the center.”

It enables UniCredit “to provide a best-in-class offering for all its cardholders, delivering a simplified core product proposition, optimized digital experience with a full suite of in-app solutions, and the development of a dedicated approach for innovation, increasing payment choice to customers, across multiple payments rails.”

Both parties’ commitment “to increase their tangible actions across environmental and social sustainability will be enhanced through this partnership.”

Insight and resources will be “combined with a particular focus on the implementation of new projects on common ESG goals, developing solutions to support empowering communities to progress, fighting climate change with mindful spending choices, and the ability to contribute tangibly to environmental goals, integrating donations in the everyday spend.”

This agreement is “a clear example of the execution of the UniCredit Unlocked plan, uniting 13 banks to deliver value for UniCredit stakeholders in a capital-light manner, taking opportunities from European DNA but working as a unified group.”

It is the most immediate manifestation of the potential within payments, which UniCredit is focused on “to further extract value in terms of product simplification, cost synergies and digital transformation.”

The partnership will focus “on supporting the delivery of the UniCredit’s strategic priorities. This includes digitalization of payments solutions, offering multi functioning solutions with a fully equipped card.”

It aligns with UniCredit’s brand attributes “to build increased preference and loyalty across the consumer lifecycle, enriching bank-wide opportunities thanks to Mastercard’s strong award-winning Priceless brand platform and sponsorship marketing assets.”

Andrea Orcel, CEO, UniCredit, said:

“This partnership epitomizes the essence of UniCredit Unlocked and our commitment to leverage the full impact of our multi-market footprint as one complete offering for the benefit of our clients. Our geographical reach and Mastercard’s expertise in this space enables us to not only streamline our partnerships and contracts, but enhance our digital, security and product offering for all our current and future cardholders. This is a perfect example of the new way of managing projects in UniCredit, bringing benefits to all legal entities in a disciplined way and acting as a single company.”

Michael Miebach, Mastercard CEO, said:

“UniCredit has been an important partner for many years. Together we have created real solutions that help people and businesses across Europe. This expanded relationship will build on that experience to bring new innovations to UniCredit cardholders.” 

As noted in the update, UniCredit claims it is “a pan-European Commercial Bank with a unique service offering in Italy, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe.”

Their purpose is “to empower communities to progress, delivering the best-in-class for all stakeholders, unlocking the potential of our clients and our people across Europe.
We serve over 15 million customers worldwide.”

They claim to be “at the heart of what we do in all their markets.”

UniCredit is “organized in four core regions and two product factories, Corporate and Individual Solutions.”

This allows them “to be close to their clients and use the scale of the entire Group for developing and offering the best products acrossall their markets.”


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