Revolut, the British “unicorn” fintech startup, said on Tuesday that it would be launching in the US by the end of the year with Mastercard (MA) debit cards.
The deal will also see Mastercard provide at least half of all Revolut cards in Europe, and comes after Revolut recently expanded its partnership with rival card firm Visa (V).
The series of announcements underlines the extent to which the two payment networks are vying for the business of digital challenger banks.
Revolut CEO Nik Storonsky said that Mastercard, which has partnered with the fintech firm since its founding, had been “an important contributor to our success.”
The agreement, Storonsky said, “will enable us to meet our ambitious goal of offering innovative financial and payment solutions to people all over the world.”
The company, one of Europe’s most prized fintech firms, announced in September that a new deal with Visa would also help it expand its footprint to a list of countries that included the US.
While Revolut will initially issue Mastercard cards in the US, Revolut said that Visa would provide 75% of the bank’s debit cards outside of Europe, which includes the US.
That is a major coup for Visa, which, as the undisputed market leader, already provides more than half of all credit and debit cards in the US. Mastercard and American Express each provide around a quarter of US cards.
Both Visa and Mastercard will provide 50% of Revolut’s cards in Europe, the bank confirmed. Visa has traditionally also been dominant in the UK, but Mastercard has been gaining ground in recent years.
Storonsky said in an interview last month that, as a result of the Visa deal, Revolut planned to expand its 1,500-strong workforce to around 5,000 people by the middle of next year.
The company has been partnering with Visa for the past four years, and began issuing Visa cards to European customers in July 2017.
“Having partnered with Revolut over the last four years, we are delighted that our relationship continues to grow and meet our collective global ambitions,” said Michael Miebach, chief product officer at Mastercard.
“Revolut’s success and its speed to new markets, such as the US, is welcome proof of our commitment to tailoring support for fintechs.” The bank has been rapidly expanding in recent months.
In the wake of criticism of its work culture and the systems it uses for flagging suspect payments, Revolut hired former Metro Bank (MTRO.L) executive David MacLean as its new chief financial officer — widely seen to be an effort to bring on board an experienced retail banking hand.