Card Innovator Dynamics Scores $70M from MasterCard, Bain Capital

mc_dynamicsWith so much hoopla over mobile in payments, it’s easy to forget that the money is still in cards.

This was brought into stark relief with the news today of MasterCard’s participation in a $70 million Series C funding round for Dynamics Corp. MasterCard also announced a joint commercial initiative with Dynamics today that would make Dynamics’ push-button cards available to companies using MasterCard’s global payments network.

MasterCard and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are the two new investors named in the $70 million round, and they join existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Adams Capital Management. Total funding for Dynamics is now more than $110 million.

Dynamics is known to Finovate attendees for its cards with buttons on them that can switch between, for example, debit, credit and rewards — kind of like Coin, but all under the banner of one FI. The company also features LEDs and small display screens on its cards. Dynamics business, essentially, is extending the productivity of the old plastic payments workhouses.

The most recent Finovate presentation from CEO Jeff Mullen mentioned EMV and mobile tie-ins, just in case you thought Dynamics had been tirelessly flogging the exact same product for the past four years.

MasterCard noted in a press release today that Dynamics technologies could allow consumers to access “multiple selectable currencies, access to both debit and credit accounts, and cards with a co-brand that offer credit or debit in conjunction with a separate loyalty application.” Ultimately, Dynamics allows MasterCard to continue offering its customers the most choices in how they want to pay. Dyanmics’ home page now features teh MasterCard logo and touts a card where users can chose to pay in pounds or euros.

Carlos Menendez, group executive of global consumer products, told Bank Innovation that Dynamics would help MasterCard’s partners differentiate their cards in crowded  markets. As to how the partnership might work in the U.S., he said, “EMV allows for more functionality for interactive cards in the US than before,  and we have seen growth in these cards elsewhere in the world — Singapore, Belgium, Canada, et cetera. In addition, because Dynamics is now commercializing the technology,  they’ve figured out how to manufacture these cards in scale, which is something MasterCard hadn’t seen until now.”

Even with Alipay noting today that more than half its transactions take place on mobile, it’s worth remembering that, even for a global payments behemoth like MasterCard, plastic still rules.

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