MasterCard bags TSB as a customer in a win for its digital operations

Chief Executive of the TSB bank, Paul Pester, poses outside the bank's Baker Street branch in London September 9, 2013. Britain's 200-year-old TSB bank returned to the high street on Monday after an 18-year absence, the result of action by regulators and the government to introduce greater competition for the country's banks following several consumer scandals.

LONDON — TSB plans to switch all its customers from Visa debit cards to MasterCard from 2018, a major win for the card issuer in the UK.

TSB, which was spun out of Lloyds in 2013, will reissue debit cards to all of the bank's current account customers in 2018 as part of a 7-year deal with MasterCard.

TSB has over 5 million customers in the UK and controls 4.5% of the British current account market. The bank, which is now owned by Spanish banking group Sabadell, will be MasterCard's largest debit card issuer in the UK once the deal completes.

Mark Barnett, MasterCard's UK & Ireland chief, says in an emailed statement: "This deal is an example of our commitment to grow the issuance of debit Mastercard among our banking partners, and as such we are best placed to support TSB with their transactional and digital banking plans."

TSB is tight-lipped about what those digital banking plans are. Jatin Patel, TSB’s Product Director, says in a statement: "This partnership presents lots of opportunities for TSB and our customers in 2018 and beyond. We’re looking forward to seeing these opportunities develop and sharing more about what’s in store next year as we continue on our mission to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers."

MasterCard has been investing heavily in digital banking over the last few years and embraced the new wave of challenger banks and bank-like services that have sprung up in the UK over the last few years. App-only startup bank Monzo and foreign exchange card Revolut are just two examples of hot startups that use MasterCard for their plastic.

Virgin Money and Citibank will issue MasterCards to their customers from next year, and Metro Bank and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group both already do.

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