Making positive change: Mastercard and ekko team up
When you pick up your credit or debit card, you typically refer to your spending habits as putting spending onto plastic. But how could doing this become green?
Few could imagine how consumerism could actually prevent plastic pollution, not aggravate the issue. Well, in collaboration with UK-based fintech firm ekko, Mastercard aims to make spending on plastic greener than ever before. By unveiling a new debit card, the two partners intend to help shoppers keep plastic from entering the oceans.
We knew that to make a difference we needed to re-write existing models and build a new eco-system that made it effortless to make a real and tangible difference.– Oli Cook, co-founder and CEO of ekko
How does this green debit card work, and what else can be done to help keep a track on the cost of our carbon footprints?
Consumers show appetite for green causes
Mastercard’s own data suggests that 43 per cent of Britons believe reducing carbon footprints has become even more important since the pandemic. With this clear appetite to go greener, Mastercard and ekko have extended the courtesy of making it easier to help finance green efforts.
Moreover, users can actively keep a tally of how many bottles have been collected and how many trees have been planted as a result of their spending habits, using a special Carbonmeter on the ekko app. By partnering with Mastercard, ekko becomes the first UK-based fintech to join the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition.
The intent of the Coalition is to ensure that 100 million trees are planted by 2025. Mastercard’s special new ekko debit cards are expected to be issued from June 2021 onwards on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Oli Cook, co-founder and CEO of ekko, explained: “We knew that to make a difference we needed to re-write existing models and build a new eco-system that made it effortless to make a real and tangible difference. We needed to create something where every one of our customers can see what they themselves are doing to help climate change, without actually needing to do anything different.”
Green debit card goes live
The new debit card from Mastercard and ekko could mean that, for every five transactions made, a plastic bottle will be collected before it has a chance to pollute the ocean. Taken a few steps further, every 50 transactions could allow for a single tree to be planted.
By embedding sustainability into every transaction, we can empower even more consumers to better understand the impact of their purchases and turn that into meaningful action for the planet.– Scott Abrahams, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Mastercard UK & Ireland
How do they intend to make this happen? It all comes down to interchange fees, the fees paid by retailers directly to the likes of Mastercard, who are responsible for processing the payments made during purchases in shops. Once collected, the fees can be used to finance environmentally-friendly projects.
The bonus to the consumer is simple – you can keep shopping as usual, buying the products you need on a regular basis, with these eco-activities being carried out behind the scenes, without costing you a single penny.