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Manama, Bahrain, 24 May 2021: Mastercard has announced that the Bahrain-based NEC Payments is now a global partner of Mastercard Fintech Express, which connects tech-savvy startups with traditional players such as banks. The program supports digital payment innovators by making it simple to collaborate with the tech company and its partners to launch new products, add payment solutions and innovate through collaboration.

The partnership will enable other fintech players to start their Mastercard issuing business at speed, unlocking more opportunities for the entire ecosystem. NEC Payments is the first Fintech Express partner globally, bringing new scale to the possibilities and potential for start-ups.

“In a constantly changing market environment, Mastercard is continuously adapting by creating new programs and partnerships to enable diversification, drive digital transformation and accelerate new players. We are delighted to welcome NEC Payments as our global partner as we together support fintech innovation, and creation of more connections, better user experiences, wider inclusion, increased competitiveness and exciting new possibilities,” said J.K. Khalil, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Levant, Mastercard.

Mastercard Fintech Express was launched last year and is split into three core modules. Access enables regulated entities to obtain a Mastercard license and access its network through a streamlined onboarding process. Build helps fintechs as processors to become an Express Partner by building unique tech alliances and benefiting from advantages that Mastercard provides. Connect makes it easy for startups who want to add payment solutions to their suite of products, to connect with qualified Express Partners available on the Mastercard Engage web portal, and go live with Mastercard in a matter of days.

NEC Payments is a digital banking technology and payment services provider licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. Formed in 2014 with the objective of supporting the growth of the financial services industry in GCC; the fast-growing company now provides its innovative technical and digital financial services solutions to banks and non-financial institutions across the GCC and broader EMEA region and recently broke ground in North America.

Andrew Sims, CEO, NEC Payments said: “We continue to develop our extensive business capabilities in partnership with Mastercard and look forward to meeting the needs of upcoming startups as they scale and expand, adding value as an enabler to the fintech ecosystem and as the first vertically-integrated true Banking-as-a-Service provider in the MENA region.”

In addition to Mastercard’s growth-focused digital expertise, the technology company has the global reach, network of partners and local knowledge to support fintechs at every stage of growth – from market entry to global expansion. Through programs such as Start Path and Fintech Express in the Mastercard Accelerate portfolio, the technology company partners with emerging innovators to help connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025.

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About Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

About NEC Payments, www.necpayments.com

NEC Payments is a digital banking and payments technology company that provides innovative financial technology solutions to banks, distribution partners, businesses and consumers, and powers high-performance, flexible and secure embedded digital banking, payment processing, compliance, and financial control systems. Licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, NEC Payments cloud-native technology can be securely deployed into pure cloud and hybrid environments to enable flexibility, scalability and availability that drives digital transformation and growth. With payment scheme, PCI-DSS and ISO9001/27001 certified card, virtual, and mobile payment transaction processing technology, NEC Payments offers a full range of technology and service solutions to banks, fintechs and non-financial institutions across the Middle East, Europe and North America.

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