Mezu Launches Digital Mastercard Debit Card
As we’ve documented before, one of the biggest trends in FinTech has been offering debit card products. From Square and PayPal to Stash and Acorns, each firm has taken a stab at a physical debit card their users can obtain. Now the digital payment app Mezu is throwing their hat into the ring but with a twist, rolling out a digital-only debit card in partnership with Mastercard.
MezuCard is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank and can be used where Mastercard is accepted. This includes purchases made abroad, with Mezu currently waiving the 3% foreign transaction fee for debit users. Not only can cardholders use the digital debit card online but also add it to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay for in-store purchases. Mezu users can access their MezuCard and begin using it by tapping “Your MezuCard” in the app, “Start Using the MezuCard,” and then adding it to one of the supported mobile wallets. The card will then be available to use instantly.
In contrast to other digital payment platforms like Venmo that have drawn privacy concerns, Mezu allows users to send or receive funds without sharing personal information. While users can send money to people they know, similar to other P2P apps, the MezuBox feature allows for private tips, donations, or other transactions. Thus the company bills its product as the payments app that gives users “the experience of cash.” That experience continues with the MezuCard, as the company notes that neither Mezu nor Mastercard will share personally identifiable data or transaction histories with third parties.
Announcing the new card, Mezu co-founder, CEO, and president Yuval Brisker said of the offering, “We are excited to launch our worldwide partnership with Mastercard with the new global MezuCard. By launching a digital-only debit card, we’re making good on our commitment to provide the most payment options on the most private payment platform available today.” He went on to add, “Mezu doesn’t ask its customers to sacrifice privacy in the name of convenience, or convenience for the sake of privacy. We believe users should have it all and with the MezuCard launch, it’s never been easier to make payments anywhere in the world, easily, securely and privately.” Additionally Mastercard EVP of digital partnerships Sherri Haymond said of the co-branded card, “Our partnership with Mezu is centered on a mutual vision of enabling people to lead a digital lifestyle in a seamless and secure manner. Alongside an unparalleled commitment to consumers’ privacy our joint goal is to provide consumers with frictionless convenience, no matter where they are in the world. We’re looking forward to expanding this relationship to provide the Mezu community buying power anywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world.”
With the Apple Card set to debut in the coming days, it’s definitely a big month for digital payments (although that card will have a physical counterpart). In addition to moving the medium forward, the MezuCard also seemed poised to push Mezu themselves toward greater prominence as well. Between this news and the company’s $10 million funding round last year, expect to hear more about Mezu in the future.