Italian commercial Bank UniCredit and US-based payment card provider Mastercard have expanded their multi-year partnership to enable a single card multi-market strategy in Europe.

The expanded partnership will cover 13 banks in 12 markets, totalling 20 million cards.

It will leverage Mastercard’s expertise in the card payment space, execute UniCredit Unlocked strategy, and takes opportunities from European DNA, working as a unified group.

The enhanced partnership provides the necessary resources to achieve a common goal of increasing the speed of innovation in the payments space and putting customers at the centre.

It enables UniCredit to deliver a simplified core product proposition, optimise the digital experience, and increase payment choices to customers.

Also, the partnership will enhance both parties’ commitment to environmental and social sustainability, with a particular focus on implementing new projects on common ESG goals.

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said: “UniCredit has been an important partner for many years. Together we have created real solutions that help people and businesses across Europe.

“This expanded relationship will build on that experience to bring new innovations to UniCredit cardholders.”

The partnership will focus on supporting the delivery of UniCredit’s strategic priorities.

It includes the digitalisation of payments solutions and offering multi-functioning solutions with a fully equipped card.

Also, the expanded partnership aligns with UniCredit’s brand attributes to increase preference and loyalty across the consumer lifecycle.

UniCredit CEO Andrea Orcel said: “This partnership epitomizes the essence of UniCredit Unlocked and our commitment to leverage the full impact of our multi-market footprint as one complete offering for the benefit of our clients.

“Our geographical reach and Mastercard’s expertise in this space enables us to not only streamline our partnerships and contracts, but enhance our digital, security and product offering for all our current and future cardholders.

“This is a perfect example of the new way of managing projects in UniCredit, bringing benefits to all legal entities in a disciplined way and acting as a single company.”