Q: What is Mastercard Send?
A: Mastercard Send is a first-of-its-kind interoperable global platform that enables funds to be sent quickly and securely via three payment flows:
- Disbursements - payments from governments, businesses, and non-profits to consumers
- Domestic P2P - payments between two consumers in one country
- Cross-border P2P - payments between two consumers in different countries
Q: Which Mastercard Send flows are currently available in the U.S.?
A: The Mastercard Send API is available for Domestic P2P and Disbursements providers. Additionally, there is a Remittance API that can be used for providers looking to enable cross-border payments originating in the United States.
Q: Why is Mastercard offering these services?
A: In the U.S., Disbursements and P2P payments make up $4 trillion per year; most of these payments are made via checks, ACH transfers and cash. Currently, the methods for these payments are slow, lack ubiquity and create security concerns. Consumers want to be able to send and receive money using their connected devices regardless of where they bank and disbursers are looking for cheaper and more efficient ways to send money to their consumers. In line with Mastercard's vision to build a World Beyond Cash, Mastercard Send aims to make payments easier, safer and more efficient for all parties.
Q: How does a Send transaction work?
A: While most electronic P2P and Disbursements' solutions rely on slow, batch-oriented ACH methods, the Mastercard Send solution leverages debit networks to move funds, typically within seconds. Mastercard Send is unique: funds can be transferred to virtually all debit cards in the U.S. and, in most cases, funds can be transferred typically within seconds. Through a set of APIs, a service provider can request a transfer through a sending acquirer, which Mastercard then routes to any U.S. bank account via a debit card regardless of the brand.
Q: What cards are eligible for Mastercard Send transactions?
A: Currently, the service is only available for U.S. consumer debit and reloadable prepaid cards. However, the MoneySend mandate includes all consumer cards: debit, credit and prepaid. Mastercard recommends that issuers support all cards when migrating to Transaction Code 28 to prepare for future service enhancements.
Q: What role does an issuer play in a Send transaction?
A: One role that issuers play in a Send transaction is as receiving institutions. In this role, issuers are required to post funds to their cardholders' accounts.
When a service provider sends funds to a debit account using Transaction Code 28, the issuer of the receiver's debit card is paid a share of network fees. Once an issuer has complied with the MoneySend mandate to enable Transaction Code 28, they will be eligible to start collecting these fees. For more information on the mandate, see Global Operations Bulletin No. 2 (February 2, 2014).
Q: Can an issuer use Mastercard Send for a P2P program?
A: An issuer could offer P2P payment services by leveraging the Mastercard Send API to allow their cardholders to send and receive payments with their friends and family. While Mastercard Send is a critical part of a P2P program, interested issuers should consider the other necessary implementation measures and development requirements. These considerations should include: customer acquisition costs, receiver management requirements for users without accounts at a bank, the necessary user interfaces for a standalone or integrated mobile application, among other considerations.
Q: How does Mastercard Send differ from MoneySend?
A: Mastercard Send is the first-of-its-kind interoperable global platform that enables funds to be sent quickly and securely. In the U.S., it will enable disbursements and P2P payments to and from nearly any U.S. debit card account, including non-Mastercard debit cards. MoneySend is the Mastercard transaction type (Transaction Code 28) designed for real-time money transfers by issuers connected to the Mastercard network.