Mastercard Expands its Digital First Card Program Amid Growing Demand for Digitally Driven Money Management Solutions

September 23, 2020 | Purchase, NY

Mastercard’s Digital First Card Program lays the foundation for issuing banks, fintechs, and traditional co-brand partners to offer end-to-end payments solutions to cardholders

Directly addressing today’s generation, who does everything – from ordering meals to scheduling doctor’s appointments – on their mobile phones or online, Mastercard today announced the expansion of its Digital First Card Program in North America. Mastercard is partnering with payment processors including CoreCard, FIS, Fiserv, Galileo, i2c, Marqeta, PTS and TSYS, a Global Payments Company, to provide them with the foundational digital guidelines that will enable consumers to experience a best-in-class digital banking experience, including near-instant access to card information, the flexibility to shop with ease, and the peace-of-mind to securely transact, among other benefits.

Together with Mastercard, these players will work with issuing banks to ensure the foundational requirements of the Digital First Card Program are met, which has been built to deliver an optimal and secure consumer experience by focusing on four key areas: 

  1. Online Application: Enables consumers to apply online and receive card information almost immediately upon issuer approval.
  2. Near-Instant Issuance: Gives cardholders access to their card information almost immediately to begin making purchases online, in app and at the point of sale through digital wallet offerings. A physical-optional card with a sleek, flexible design is also available to the cardholder.
  3. Quick Access to Card Details: Offers quick access to card information, including the 16-digit PAN, CVC2, expiration date and customer service information via digital environment, eliminating the need for it to be displayed on the physical card and enabling the cardholder to access it securely with ease.
  4. Simple and Easy Management: Allows cardholders to manage their payment credentials digitally, including access to transaction history and balance information, alerts, and access to card benefits.

“Today, storefronts are at your fingertips, browsing shopping aisles is as easy as swiping left or right and getting what you want and going where you want is as simple as a click or tap,” said Jess Turner, executive vice president, Products and Innovation, North America at Mastercard. “With the Digital First Card Program, we have designed a financial experience that mirrors the lifestyle of today’s generation with simplicity and security as our guiding principle.”

"The future of banking is digitally motivated,” said Krista Tedder, Head of Payments, Javelin Strategy & Research. “Consumers are increasingly considering how they can use the branch as an extension of digital, rather than digital as an extension of the branch.”

Mastercard’s Digital First Card Program, which launched in 2019, continues to gain momentum as consumers seek out digitally-native, secure payments solutions. Most recently, Mastercard announced a partnership with Samsung and SoFi to launch Samsung Money by SoFi, a mobile-first money management experience. Fintech players Pay with Privacy and Neo Financial will launch Digital First Card Programs in the coming months.

The expansion of Mastercard's Digital First Card Program signals an industry-wide shift to providing consumers with end-to-end payments options at scale. By enabling processors with the technology and go-to-market strategy, more and more cardholders can experience the benefits of the Digital First Card Program. 


“i2c has been at the forefront of digital transformation and our highly configurable single global platform is uniquely qualified to help Mastercard issuers bring Digital First Card Programs to market quickly,” said Amir Wain, founder and CEO at i2c Inc. “Providing immediate digital payment access to users is key to a comprehensive digital package of services and superior consumer experience. As a result, Mastercard customers will enjoy greater convenience, access, security and program responsiveness, while issuers benefit from new revenue streams.”

“Today’s cardholders have technology at their fingertips everywhere they go, complementing the increasingly digital lifestyles they lead,” said Rachna Ahlawat, senior vice president, Digital, Issuer Solutions at Fiserv. “Meeting this digital demand with everything from being able to open an account instantly to flexible payments options empowers them to make seamless, secure transactions while strengthening engagement with their trusted payment providers.”

Media Contacts

Biz Cozine, Mastercard
914.249.2707 |