Losses grow at Mastercard’s R&D-focused Irish arm

Turnover climbs to €18.5m for fintech unit with staff of 275 in Dublin

Mastercard Labs is focused on innovative payment solutions such as the QKR app.s

Mastercard Labs is focused on innovative payment solutions such as the QKR app.s


Losses continued to worsen last year at the Irish subsidiary of Mastercard, which employs more than 200 at its fintech-focused research and development centre in Dublin.

The company reported a €30.9 million pretax loss for 2016, up from €29.3 million a year earlier and compared to a €26.3 million loss for the 12 months ending December 2014.

Losses rose despite turnover increasing to €18.5 million from €15.9 million a year earlier. Revenues are generated through service agreements with other group entities.

The company’s Mastercard Labs office opened in Dublin in 2012, although the operator of the world’s second-largest payments network has had a base in Ireland since 2009 following its $100 million (€87million) acquisition of Irish firm Orbiscom.

The lab is focused on digital payment solutions, such as the QKR app, which is being used by Wagamama, Zizzi and Ask Italian in the UK.

Funding support

The deficit on shareholders’ funds lowered to €43.2 million from €73.3 million in the prior year.

The company has continued funding support in the form of an intercompany loan. Loans payable to group companies of €130 million are recorded in the accounts, which note that Mastercard Incorporated intended to support its Irish subsidiary “for at least one year” after the financial statements were signed off.

Administrative expenses for the unit rose sharply last year, increasing from €40.7 million to €47.5 million, largely on the back of a rise in headcount. The number of employees rose to 275 from 223 over the reporting period as staff-related costs jumped to €25.3 million from €23.9 million.

Directors’ remuneration rose to €1.16 million from €972,171.

Separate accounts for Orbiscom Ireland Limited, the electronic payments software company acquired by Mastercard in early 2009, show pretax profits rose to €5.8 million from €4.2 million on revenues that climbed to €11.2 million from €9.08 million last year.

As of the end of December 2016, the company had cumulative losses of €29 million. The deficit on shareholders’ funds amounted to €28.7 million with current liabilities exceeding assets by €28.7 million.