Payments Association Launches payments incubator: The Catalyst

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  • The world’s only incubator dedicated to early stage companies in the payments industry
  • Supported by leading payment firms MasterCard and The Bancorp

London, 18th June 2015 – The Payments Association today announces the launch of its incubator for early stage payments companies, the Catalyst. The Catalyst provides access to investors, workspace, mentors and commercial partners in association with MasterCard and The Bancorp. The Catalyst beneficiaries – its ‘Rising Stars’ – are new entrants to the fintech industry, mostly founder-owned and with a combined investment and revenue between £0.5m and £2m in the last twelve months. Five payment companies have already been selected for the programme.

“With the rapid growth of fintech, many entrepreneurs have recognised that at the core of their business model lies payments. But the emerging payments industry is highly complex, rapidly changing, difficult to enter and it’s easy to get it wrong,” says David Hunter, Advisory Board member of the Payments Association. “So we are now helping the Rising Stars of the industry to get it right. These are those early stage companies that have strong propositions and ambitious leaders who need help from the community.”

“Access to an established network of like-minded payments professionals and a fee-free package that takes the risk – and angst – out of being a fintech payments entrepreneur is a winner for our Rising Stars,” concluded Hunter.

The first five Rising Stars come from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and the UK:

  • Cashwave, an international remittance company
  • Cubits, a mobile wallet and Bitcoin business
  • DigiSeq, an NFC wearables business
  • Pannovate, an augmented reality company
  • Peak Financial Services, a programme manager
  • W2, online screening tools

In its first year, the Catalyst aims to help 25 Rising Stars to innovate more effectively and scale their businesses. As well as receiving help with raising funds and guidance from mentors, Rising Stars will also showcase their products, receive online and social media exposure, and meet prospective partners and clients through the Payments Association network.

“We have been supporters of the Payments Association right from the very start. The launch of the Catalyst marks a new milestone in supporting the payments industry’s newest innovators. We look forward to supporting them with opportunities for members to visit our offices, see our products and solutions and benefit from our mentoring. Moreover, it is a two-way dialogue, and the Catalyst members will also be offered the chance to present to us and showcase their own products/services and solutions. Indeed, MasterCard can also learn and discover from new entrants and this will be a big part of our continuing innovation efforts,” said Scott Abrahams, Group Head Acceptance and Payments Association, MasterCard.

“The Bancorp is both delighted and honoured to be a Benefactor of the Catalyst alongside MasterCard. Delivering excellence in payments innovation and supporting partners to create successful payments businesses is core to our strategy and fits perfectly with the goals of the Catalyst. We look forward to being involved in this excellent initiative,” said Kriya Patel, Managing Director, The Bancorp.
Rising Star quotes

“Cashwave is pleased to be among the first group of Rising Star technology companies participating in the Catalyst. We are thrilled to be part of the program which we hope will increase visibility for our innovative product among the financial industry as well as end users. We are looking forward to improving our product via access to industry expertise and know-how and valuable partnerships with both industry leaders and other start-ups”

Stoytcho Vlaykov, Founder of Cashwave

“Cubits is thrilled to be selected as one of the ‘Rising Stars’ of the Catalyst initiative. We live in exciting times. Our increasingly connected global society demands safer, faster and cheaper ways to pay. The Payments Association is a great response to those challenges as the open exchange of ideas can only benefit the industry as a whole. Our specialism, Bitcoin, is a powerful new technology enabling low transaction fees, the elimination of fraud, high security features and instant global money transfers. We believe it has a lot to offer the future payments landscape. As a UK company, Cubits is ready to share and learn, and we hope that our contribution will help make the UK a global leader in payment innovation.”
Tim Rehder, CEO, Cubits

“The combination of access to an influential network, hot desk facilities in a prime London location and added mentorship struck the right note for a start-up like W2. We fully intend to make the most of the Rising Star opportunities over the next 12 months.”
Warren Russell, CEO, W2


About the Catalyst
The Catalyst is the world’s only incubator dedicated to early stage companies in the payments industry. It is run by the The Payments Association, a dedicated industry trade body built by payment practitioners with more than 100 years’ experience. Based in the heart of London, the Catalyst helps turn early stage companies with potential into payment powerhouses. The Catalyst beneficiaries – its Rising Stars – are new entrants to the fintech industry, mostly founder-owned and with a combined investment and revenue between £0.5m and £2m in the last twelve months. The incubator is supported by MasterCard and The Bancorp.

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