Mastercard’s Network Enablement Partnership

How the card brand’s clear communication path leads to faster information flow.

Sharing information between card associations and service providers like payment facilitators and independent payment operators is important. The information typically flows from the card brands to the acquirers and then to service providers like Segpay.  Because of the multi-stop information communication flow, answers to questions can sometimes get stuck in an information traffic jam.  There is one card brand that has developed a remedy to solve this issue: Mastercard with its Network Enablement Partner Program.  This month we wanted to highlight this solution and how it opens up the lanes of communication.  We’ll share how it started, how it works, and where it’s headed as Mastercard creates clearer communication through its service provider engagement.

The Starting Line

Our first interaction with Mastercard was well over ten years ago when it began its Onsite Service Provider Review Program.  While the name of the program has changed over the years, the focus has always been to review how service providers onboard merchants and how they conduct payment card industry (PCI) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.  It can make you nervous when you get word that you’re going to be reviewed by Mastercard.  Let’s face it, reviews and audits are never fun.  But I must admit that all of our interactions with Mastercard have always been pleasant. The main focus of the reviews we’ve had was to help the company be better. The payment facilitator review process examines the payment facilitator’s ability to support Mastercard customers so that they can adhere to the minimum Mastercard fraud loss control program requirements and standards.  A payment facilitator that fails a review may be subject to deregistration.

In the last ten years, Segpay has had six reviews and each time, after the first one, I actually looked forward to them.  It gave us a direct channel to talk about what was working and what we found challenging.  The program has helped us and others sort out regulations over the last decade like the new payment facilitator regulations in 2011 and the user generated content updates that went into effect in 2020.

Leveling Up with Partnership

Now Mastercard is taking things to a new level for service providers.  In 2021 Mastercard launched its Network Enablement Partner (NEP) program.  This program gives service providers an opportunity to have a direct relationship with Mastercard.  This connection helps to drive speed to market for product innovation as well as optimize performance and operational efficiencies. The alternative was having to leverage the relationship of an acquirer.  In short, it will give payment service providers the option for a seat at the table with Mastercard to share their concerns or wishes.  Having a direct point of contact is key!  The NEP engagement model is available to all registered service providers who would like to apply.   Training and direct access information is also available through the Mastercard Academy. There are four different tiers to participate in from basic to premium, each one providing various products and services directly to NEPs.

Open the Communication Lane

The NEP also allows you to reach out to Mastercard if you need a variance request from their traditional standards along with other benefits.  For example, once a merchant exceeds $10 million in annual Mastercard volume, it is required to move the merchant into its own mid and sign a tri-party agreement.  As an NEP, this limit can be sidestepped, and the merchant can continue to process as it is on the payment facilitator platform.  This extra volume limit allows payment facilitators to stay in the funds flow so the payment service provider can continue to support content creators and affiliate payouts.  

There is also a Network Enablement Partner Advisory Council.  This offers payment service providers a seat at the table and an opportunity for a two-way conversation with Mastercard and other NEPs to help improve its network and service offerings.  The NEP can join quarterly innovative and strategic conversations with Mastercard on the future of payments.

We all get bogged down with the ever-changing regulations and card brand requirements, but with open communication it is easier to navigate.  I applauded Mastercard for being progressive by offering a way to better service and support its network of service providers. 

Want to learn more about Segpay?

Contact us today. Reach out to us with your questions at [email protected] and we can share more about our partner programs and how Segpay can take your business all the way to paid. 

Share this post with your friends

Our website uses “cookies” and other technologies, which store small amounts of information on your computer or device, to allow certain information from your web browser to be collected and improve your experience. By using this website, you accept the terms of our privacy policy and cookie policy.