New Energy Nexus Launches First-ever Climate Fintech Cards & Payments Challenge, in Partnership With Barclays, Mastercard, Doconomy and Patch

Sep 7, 2021 4:15 PM ET

NEW YORK, September 7, 2021 /3BLMedia/ – New Energy Nexus today launched its inaugural Climate Fintech: Cards & Payments Challenge (C&P Challenge) to catalyze innovation across the financial sector to address climate change.

This innovation program brings together multinational financial institutions and fintech leaders to nurture cross-collaboration with startups that offer digital financial climate solutions, and is supported by, Barclays US Consumer BankRise, created by BarclaysMastercardDoconomy; and Patch. The C&P Challenge brings together innovators using the latest technologies and partnership models that can help inform the way we spend, the things we buy and how payments are handled – making everyday consumption more sustainable.

The initiative offers a $100,000 first-place prize to the winning startup, and the goal of the challenge is to discover and elevate climate innovation in the digital payments space, while advancing relevant proof-of-concept (POC) projects with established financial stakeholders.

“Our team is thrilled to launch the Cards and Payments Challenge with an incredible roster of strategic partners, together supporting fintech startups and innovations, which aim to catalyze equitable decarbonization. We welcome applications from around the world,” said Danny Kennedy, CEO at New Energy Nexus.

As of today, fintech startups can apply to compete in the Challenge. During Climate Week NYC, participants will be hosted at the Rise Accelerator space in Manhattan where they will have access to world-class facilities and the opportunity to craft their product and build their network. Ten finalists will be selected, and these companies will receive additional mentorship in matchmaking over a three-week period, culminating in a demo day and prizes in November. In addition to cash prizes, participants will be given access to sponsor Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allowing participants to have direct access to relevant data.

“Rise knows the importance of climate fintech startups to financial services, and we are excited to host the challenge in New York,” said Brian Luciani, Head of Rise New York. “It’s inspiring to work with our partners in support of fintech founders who are working towards a sustainable future and to keep Barclays at the forefront of fintechs working on climate innovations.”

The Challenge welcomes an applicant pool of diverse climate fintech solutions from across digital payments, digital wallets, credit assessment, rewards, benefits, insurance, and processing infrastructure – which are focused on climate action via decarbonization and better stewardship of the planet.

Key focus areas include:

  • Retail & Commercial Carbon Accounting & Footprinting
  • Sustainable eCommerce Connectivity
  • Green Digital Wallets & Mobile Payment
  • Sustainability Gamification & Incentivization
  • Reward Program Points and Benefit Structures for Emissions Offsetting or Renewable Energy
  • API Integration and “Green Open Banking”
  • Building a digestible “Green Score” & Consumer Education
  • Blockchain & DLT applications in sustainability
  • Insurance and related products
  • Additional Integration with Online Banking and Investment Products

With the recent push for climate action by both consumers and banks, reconfiguring spending and banking to help decarbonize has never had greater traction or greater importance. This program offers an unprecedented opportunity to secure outside investment and proof of concepts in this critical and rapidly growing space.

Shortlisted companies will also be offered a “fast tracked” acceptance to the selection phase for Mastercard Start Path, the company’s global startup engagement program, which gives startups access to Mastercard technology, expertise and resources to rapidly scale their business.

“Mastercard is committed to nurturing innovation that will play a critical role in enabling a sustainable digital economy – whether that’s by using emerging technologies, creating new business models, or forging strategic partnerships with startups,” said Sue Kelsey, EVP Global Product, Sustainability & Financial Inclusion, Mastercard. “We are excited to partner on the new Climate Fintech ‘Cards & Payments Challenge’ – connecting with changemakers and startups who want to collaborate on tackling climate change by reimagining the future of commerce.”

This initiative comes on the heels of two recently published Climate Fintech Reports, one published by New Energy Nexus and the other published by Rise – both of which help to further define the space and highlight key success stories. These reports illustrate a vast ecosystem – in part to uncover as many digital financial solutions facilitating decarbonization investment, clean energy finance, and sustainable consumer habits as possible.

Additional Details of the Cards & Payments Challenge

  • The open call for applications will run from September 7 – October 1, 2021
  • The final 10 startups will be invited to mentorship and matchmaking in late October, with prizes announced in mid-November
  • Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists and are in the form of non-dilutive grants
  • APIs will be provided to participants by Barclays, Mastercard, Doconomy and Patch
  • Non-finalists may still be contacted by sponsors or participating VCs for additional investment or partnership opportunities


About Rise, created by Barclays

Rise, created by Barclays, is a global community of the world’s top innovators working together to create the future of financial services. Our mission is to connect technology, talent and trends from across the Rise ecosystem to accelerate innovation and growth in the financial services industry. This is done by operating FinTech workspaces around the world and in a virtual community where cutting-edge startups and scale-ups can connect, create and scale their businesses, backed by Barclays’ global network of industry experts, mentors, investors and partners. For more information, visit

About Barclays

Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded credit cards, small business credit cards, installment loans, POS Finance, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit

Barclays is a British universal bank.  We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit

 About Mastercard

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. For more information, visit

About Doconomy

Doconomy, founded in Sweden in 2018, is a world-leading provider of applied impact solutions. Doconomy wants to future-proof life on planet earth by empowering individuals and corporations to take responsibility for their environmental footprint. Firmly believing that the climate crisis can only be solved as a collective, Doconomy is also a partner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Mastercard, S&P Trucost, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

About Patch

Patch is an API-first carbon removal marketplace that enables companies to seamlessly purchase as little as a gram of carbon removal from individual projects.  This micro-transaction access enables businesses of all sizes to work with carbon removal projects and neutralize emissions with the granularity required by embedded carbon removal use cases, such as carbon neutral shipping, travel, and climate positive financial services products.  As an API-first platform, Patch aims to create a future where every commerce transaction—every swipe of a credit card, retail delivery, and bitcoin purchase—can have its unavoidable emissions automatically neutralized.

About New Energy Nexus

New Energy Nexus ( is a non-profit international organization that strives towards an abundant world with a 100% clean energy economy for 100% of the population in the shortest time possible. To achieve this goal, we support diverse clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators, and networks. We started in California and now operate programs in New York, China, India, Southeast Asia and East Africa. Our Climate Fintech work spans multiple geographies, and primarily supports fintech startups who help the financial system to further decarbonize their business practices.


The Cards & Payments Challenge website can be found here.

The Climate Fintech Report by New Energy Nexus can be downloaded here.

The Climate FinTech Insights Report by Rise, created by Barclays can be downloaded here.

Media Contacts

Aaron McCreary –