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As the race to dominate global payouts continues, Mastercard beefs up its capabilities through a new partnership with fintech Paysend. 

Consumers crave cheaper, convenient international money transfer options, but there’s still no clear winner in the market. Card networks can ensure their piece of the pie by building relationships for cross-border payments. 

The problem of transparent, cheap, and fast international payments is being approached from many different angles – including through blockchain-based digital currencies – by fintechs and legacy institutions alike.  

Payment card networks stand to win a significant share of cross-border payment volume if they can establish themselves as a good partner for everyone. To that end, Mastercard and fintech Paysend just announced a partnership to offer money transfers across dozens of countries, as the startup competes with legacy remittance firms like Western Union and MoneyGram.  

For Mastercard, the partnership fits into its plan to widen its network overall: By helping both fintechs and traditional banks slash the cost and time required for international transfers, it continues to be a key payments rail for cross-border transfers.   

Payment card networks like Mastercard and Visa have “been trying to crack this opportunity for years, and while they’ve gained traction, they’re a long way from succeeding,” according to Celent analyst Gareth Lodge, because of all the fragmentation and varied options. Partnerships like this one show how Mastercard is focused on making sure its payment rail remains relevant.